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Full text of "Reference Series Volume 10 Issue 2"

Smart 1 



imputing. 

■ In Plain Enalish *J 



lerence Series 



All About 





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ALL ABOUT YAHOO! 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



REFERENCE SERIES VOLUME 10, ISSUE 2 



— - n the early, chaotic days of the World Wide Web 
there were two ways to find out about new Web 
. sites: by accident or by word- of- mouth. Happily, a 
pair of enterprising doctoral students from Stanford 
created a list of their favorite Web haunts and decided 
to share it online with friends, and thus began one of 
the Internet's most resounding success stories. 

Yahoo! is now one of the premier destinations on 
the Web, with hundreds of millions of users world- 
wide. The site has become a juggernaut, and it adds 
new features and content every day. Read this issue 
and you'll discover all the latest offerings from Yahoo!. 



Inside Yahoo! 



4 Yahoo! Then & Now 

Charting The Growth Of An Internet Colossus 

12 Yahoo! Goes Social 

The Web 2.0 

1 5 Your Door To The Web 

Find Your Way Around Yahoo! 

20 Identify Yourself 

Get A Yahoo! ID To Make The Most Of Yahooi's Tools 

22 My Yahoo! 

Give Yourself The Ultimate Home Page 



25 Safe Surfing 

Keeping Kids Safe Is All Relative 
With Yahoo! Family Accounts 

26 Yahoo! Broadens Its Horizons 

Yahoo! International 



Information 



27 Browser's Digest 

Find Your Way Through The Yahoo! Directory 

31 Using Yahoo! Search 

Find Yawho, Yawhat, Yawhere 

35 My Web 2.0 

The Web Your Way 

37 The Doctor's In 

Resources At Yahoo! Health Keep You Healthy & Informed 



42 Yahoo! Finance 

Stocks, Loans & Everything In Between 

47 Ripped From Today's Headlines 

From Domestic To Global Events, 
Yahoo! News Keeps You Informed 



Shopping 




49 Yahoo! Shopping 

Find Everything You're Looking For 
Without Leaving Home 

52 Another Man's Treasure 

Bid, Buy & Sell With Yahoo! Auctions 



55 Yahoo! Autos 

A Pit Stop Before You Shop 

58 Yahoo! Classifieds 

Put Your Goods On The 'Net 

61 Flowers & Gifts 

Shop Big For Small Gifts 

62 Real Estate 

Yahoo! Takes You Home 



65 The Online Bargain Basement 

Yahoo! Bargains & Sales Is A Haven For The Thrifty 

66 Yahoo! Points 

Purchases Lead To Prizes 

67 Yahoo! Wallet 

Shopping Online Takes A Turn For The Simple 

68 Yahoo! Yellow Pages 

Throw Away The Paper Version 




Entertainment 



69 Lights, Camera, Action! 

Yahoo! Entertainment Gives You The Lowdown 
On Movies, Music & Television 

70 Fun & Games 

Yahoo! Games Is A Great Place To Play 

72 A Look Into The Future 

Yahoo! Astrology Can Show You 
What's Written In The Stars 



73 Yahoo! Movies 

Everything But The Sticky Floor 

74 The Sound Of Music 

March To The Beat Of The Yahoo! Music Drum 

77 Fantasy Fulfillment 

Coach Your Own Pro Sports Team On Yahoo! 

79 Travel Unraveled 

Yahoo! Demystifies Online Trip Planning 

82 Yahoo! TV 

Check Your Local Listings & So Much More 

84 The Buzz Index 

Yahoo! Keeps Tabs On Today's 
Water Cooler Subjects 



Business Services 



106 Yahoo! Small Business Center 

Increase Your Productivity With Tools From Yahoo! 

107 Web Hosting & Merchant Solutions 

Get Your Small Business Off The Starting Block 

110 Domain Names 

Yahoo! Domains Is A Convenient Option 

111 Business Email Accounts 

Give Your Company Email A Professional Edge 

112 Small Business Savvy 

Yahooi's Tools Help Create 
Web Commerce Powerhouses 



Communication 



85 Yahoo! Mail 

Send & Receive Email From Nearly Anywhere 

88 Stay In Touch With Yahoo! Messenger 

Instant Message, Voice Chat, & More 

91 Yahoo! Chat 

Talk It Up 

93 Fun Comes Full Circle 

Yahoo! 360° Simplifies Online Socializing 

96 Up Close & Personal 

Online Dating With Yahoo! 

98 DIY Web Design 

Let GeoCities Host Your Web Site For Free 

100 Yahoo! Groups 

Where Everybody Knows Your Name 

102 Signed, Sealed & Delivered 

Send Personalized Cards With Yahoo! Greetings 

1 04 Coordinate Your Schedule Online 

Yahoo! Calendar Lets You Get A Handle 
On Your Schedule 



116 Internet Access 

Yahoo! Partners With AT&T & Verizon To Offer 
Several Service Packages 

118 Yahoo! HotJobs 

Find That Ideal Employee 

119 Articles & Resources 

Hidden Gems From Yahoo! Small Business 



Yahoo! Next 



122 Yahoo! Next 

A Preview Of Coming Attractions 



124 Yahoo! Maps 

Your Online Atlas 

126 Yahoo! Podcast 

Radio To Go 

128 Yahoo! Site Explorer 

Be A Web Site Sleuth 



130 Instant Search 

This Tool Could Change The Way You Search 

132 Mobile Shopping Search 

Bargain Hunters Will Love This Tool — For A Price 




105 YahooS's Member Directory 

How To Search & Find Yahoo! Member Information 



134 Yahoo! Audio Search 

Scour The Web For Music & Sound 



136 Yahoo! Search Subscriptions 

Find Web Pages From Subscription Services 

138 Yahoo! Mindset 

Putting Your Web Searches In The Right Context 



140 Yahoo! Y!Q 

Providing Context-Sensitive Search For More Relevant Results 

1 42 My Yahoo! Ticker 

News & Info That Comes To You 

144 Yahoo! FareChase 

New Service Helps Track Down Travel Deals 




Extras 



146 Use Yahoo! For Everything Under The Sun 

Your Comprehensive Activity Center 

148 Yahoo! Toolbar 

The Better To Surf With, My Dear 

151 Especially For Mobile Users 

Use Yahoo! Services When You're On The Go 

153 For The Kids 

Yahooligans! Presents Facts & Laughs Just For Juniors 



1 56 Lose Yourself Online 

25 Fun Things To Do On Yahoo! 

160 Yahoo! By The Numbers 



or: 




Web-Only Articles 



The following articles are available online at SmartComputing.com. 

Point, Click, Sit & Stay 

Fetch Pet Information At Yahoo! Pets 
(www.smartcomputing.com/yahoo/pets) 

Back To School 

Yahoo! Education Can Teach You A Lesson 
(www.smartcomputing.com/yahoo/education) 



Editorial Staff: Ronald D. Kobler/ 
Christopher Trumble / Michael Sweet / 
Corey Russman / Rod Scher / Calvin 
Clinchard / Katie Sommer / Kimberly Fitzke / 
Katie Dolan / Blaine Flamig / Raejean Brooks / 
Sally Curran / Nate Hoppe / Trista Kunce / 
Sheila Allen / Linne Ourada / Joy Martin / 
Ashley Finter / Brian Weed / Marty Sems / 
Chad Denton / Nathan Chandler / Kylee 
Dickey / Josh Gulick / Andrew Leibman / 
Vince Cogley / Sam Evans /Jennifer Johnson 
Web Staff: Laura Curry / Brandie Humphrey 
Customer Service: Becky Rezabek/ 
Lana Matic / Lindsay Albers 
Subscription Renewals: Connie Beatty / Matt 
Boiling / Patrick Kean / Charmaine Vondra / 
Miden Ebert / Kathy DeCoito / Stephanie 
Contreras / Nicole Buckendahl 
Art & Design: Lesa Call / Fred Schneider/ 
Carrie Benes / Ginger Falldorf / Sonja Warner / 
Aaron Weston / Aaron D. Clark / Lori Garris / 
Jason Codr / Andria Schultz / Erin Rodriguez / 
Lindsay Anker 

Newsstand: Garth Lienemann / Kelly 
Richardson / Jeff Schnittker 
Advertising Sales: Grant Ossenkop/ 
Cindy Pieper / Brooke Wolzen / Eric Cobb 
Marketing: Mark Peery / Liz Kohout / Marcy 
Gunn / Jen Clausen / Scot Banks / Ashley 
Hannant / Luke Vavricek / Travis Brock 



Copyright 2006 by Sandhills Publishing Company. All rights 
reserved. Reproduction of material appearing in Smart Computing 
REFERENCE SERIES: All About Yahoo! is strictly prohibited with- 
out written permission. Printed in the U.S.A. GST # 
123482788RT0001. Smart Computing is published monthly by 
Sandhills Publishing Company. 131 West Grand Drive, P.O. Box 
85380, Lincoln, NE 68501. POSTMASTER: Send address changes 
to Smart Computing, P.O. Box 85380, Lincoln, NE 68501. 



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Inside Yahoo! 



Yahoo!, Then & Now 

Charting The Growth Of An Internet Colossus 



Do you Yahoo!? If you 
use the Internet, the 
answer to that ad 
slogan is most likely 
"yes." Yahoo! is con- 
sistently ranked as the No. 1 English 
language site at Alexa.com and also 
consistently ranks as the No. 1 Inter- 
net brand according to Nielson Net- 
Ratings reports. Over the past 12 
years, the site has grown from the 
grassroots dream of a few tech geeks 
into an international Internet giant 
that measures its profits in billions of 
dollars, constantly evolving in the face 
of competitors and an ever- expanding 
Internet. Everyone Yahoo!'s, and 
here's why. 

Salad Days 

Yahoo! has been around since 
January 1994, which doesn't seem all 
that impressive until you put it in 
perspective. Back then, most people 
were still using MS-DOS and Win- 
dows 3.1. The Internet was a luxury 
that few people outside of the mili- 
tary or educational institutions had 
access to, but it was still growing at a 
tremendous rate. This was mainly 
due to the release of Mosaic 1.0 in 
April 1993, which was the first real 
Web browser. According to statistics 
compiled by Matthew Gray of the 
Massachusetts Institute of Tech- 
nology, there were only about 130 
Web sites in June of 1993, with only 
1.5% of those sites belonging to .com 
domains. By June 1994 that number 




had grown to approximately 2,738 
Web sites (13.5% were .com sites) 
and by the end of 1994 there were 
more than 10,000 Web sites (with 
.corns accounting for about a third of 
that figure). 

Before Yahoo! went live, finding 
information on the Internet was a 
crapshoot. There was Archie (named 
by removing the "v" from "ar- 
chive"), but that only indexed FTP 
(File Transfer Protocol) sites, which 
were very popular at the time be- 
cause they offered the easiest way to 
share files across the Internet. Most 
university, library, company, and re- 
search computers used a technology 
called Gopher to organize the con- 
tents of their servers into hierar- 
chical lists, but there was no way to 
search all of the servers at once. 
Home users were still dialing into 
BBS (Bulletin Board System) mes- 
sage boards, which let users chat, 



send email, and share files locally, 
but again there was no way to search 
every BBS in the nation. 

Even when Archie, Gopher, and 
BBS computers were eventually con- 
nected to the Internet, there was no 
good way to find out about them. It 
seems ridiculous to today's Internet 
users, but imagine loading up your 
Web browser and suddenly discov- 
ering that every search engine is gone. 
The only way to connect to another 
computer on the Internet in that case 
is to type its exact domain name into 
your Web browser, but how do you 
find out the domain names for the 
Web sites you want to visit? 

That's the situation Jerry Yang and 
David Filo — two electrical engi- 
neering doctorate candidates at Stan- 
ford — faced in 1994. To keep track of 
their favorite sites, they created a list 
that they maintained for their per- 
sonal use. Eventually the list got so 



4 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



nside Yahoo! 



long that the two decided to break it 
down into various categories, and 
then they made the fateful move of 
turning their catalog of favorites into 
a Web site called Jerry and David's 
Guide to the World Wide Web. 

Back then, the Internet was used by 
a relatively small number of people, 
and any site as useful as Jerry and 
David's Guide to the World Wide 
Web was bookmarked by pretty much 
everybody. As the site grew in size and 
popularity (thanks to word-of-mouth 
advertising), Yang and Filo knew they 
were on to something and decided to 
take their idea to the next level. They 
gave it a new name — Yahoo! — which 
the company claims is an acronym for 
Yet Another Hierarchical Officious 
Oracle, although Yang and Filo have 
denied that claim at various times 



over the years and may have just liked 
the way the word sounded. They also 
spurned buyout offers from a number 
of companies that would have made 
them instant millionaires and instead 
secured their own venture capital so 
they could continue to helm the com- 
pany. By March 1995 Yahoo! was in- 
corporated. Just over a year later on 
April 12, 1996, the company success- 
fully went public. Yang and Filo still 
haven't completed their doctorates, 
but by way of compensation they 
are now billionaires who still work 
at the company they created: Yang 
serves as Co-Founder, Chief Yahoo!, 
and Director, and Filo serves as 
Co-founder and Chief Yahoo!. Amaz- 
ingly, while most of Yahoo !'s under- 
lying technology has changed since 
1994, one thing remains the same: A 



Sizing Up The Competition 



Much has happened on the Web since Yahoo! got its start, and an increasing 
number of sites are out to commandeer the same sets of eyeballs Yahoo! 
caters to. There's Google, of course, which has quickly grown from an advanced 
search engine into other markets such as Web-based email, Internet chat, and 
detailed maps. Microsoft's MSN site gets a huge boost from being the first thing 
people see when they launch a fresh installation of Internet Explorer. AOL offers 
everything from free email and picture storage to on-demand videos and Hog- 
ging tools to its vast captive audience of subscribers. How does Yahoo! stack up 
to its competitors in some key categories? 

(NOTE: All financial figures are from Jan. 31, 2005, or from companies' most recent annual reports.) 



team of editors still maintains the 
Yahoo! directory, rather than a pro- 
gram. If you want to submit a site for 
inclusion, someone at Yahoo! still 
needs to visit it and make the call. 

Yahoo! Today 

Much has happened since Yang 
and Filo decided to keep a list of their 
favorite Web sites. Today Yahoo! is an 
enormous company with a market 
cap of more than $50 billion. In an 
average month, the site delivers about 
73 billion Web pages to 345 million 
worldwide users, and it has evolved 
from a simple directory of sites into a 
full-fledged Web portal designed as a 
one-stop-shop to suit the needs of 
nearly any visitor. The company's 
goal now is to "provide users with the 
information they want, when they 
want it, how they want it, and on any 
device," and it's accomplishing that in 
a variety of ways. 

The company's search engine has re- 
ceived major improvements over the 
years to sift through the billions of Web 
pages that have appeared since the 
founding of Yahoo!. Yahoo! also pro- 
vides reams of its own content, much 
of it licensed from respected publica- 
tions such as Consumer Reports, Sports 
Illustrated, BusinessWeek Online, 
Reuters, the Associated Press, and 



Web Site 



America Online (AOL) 

www.aol.com 



Microsoft Network (MSN) 

www.msn.com 



Google 

www.google.com 



Yahoo! 

www.yahoo.com 



What Is It? 


Internet portal and 
Internet Service Provider 


Internet portal and 
Internet Service Provider 


Search engine and 
Web directory 


Internet portal 


Revenue Sources 


Advertising, premium 
services, Internet service 
subscriptions 


Advertising and 
premium services 


Advertising, business 
consulting and services, 
technology licensing 


Advertising and 
premium services 


Key Features 


Search, email, 
instant messaging, 
Internet access 


Search, email, 
instant messaging, 
Internet access 


Search, email, 
instant messaging 


Search, email, 
instant messaging 


Audience 


110 million per month 
(U.S. figure only, including 
20 million U.S. subscribers) 


400 million per 
month worldwide 


380 million per month 
worldwide 


345 million per month 
worldwide 


Market Cap 


N/A (division of Time Warner) 


N/A (division of Microsoft) 


$128.36 billion 


$49.37 billion 


Revenue 


$8.84 billion 


$2,274 billion 


$5.25 billion 


$5.26 billion 


Net Income 


$934 million 
(operating income) 


N/A 

(not listed separately in 

Microsoft annual report) 


$1.3 billion 


$1.9 billion 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 5 



Inside Yahoo! 



many others. There's a lot to like about 
Yahoo!, but perhaps the main reason 
for the site's popularity is the stag- 
gering number of services it offers to 
users. At last count, anyone with a 
Yahoo! account can access nearly 120 
services, and that number is growing all 
of the time as Yahoo! snaps up tech 
companies and continues to research 
its own technologies. We don't have 
enough space to talk about all of 
Yahoo!'s offerings, but here's a quick 
breakdown of the standouts: 

Yahoo! Mail 

If you have a Yahoo! account, you 
have a Yahoo! Mail address, and en- 
hancements over the years have 
turned it into one of the finest free 
Web-based email services on the 
planet. Storage space was limited 
until Google announced it would 
provide Gmail users with 1GB (giga- 
byte) of storage space (Gmail ac- 
counts currently have more than 
2.6GB of storage space). Yahoo! Mail 
accounts now have 1GB of storage 



Before Yahoo! went live, finding 
information on the Internet 
was a crapshoot. 



space, which is plenty for most email 
purposes. Beyond that, however, 
Yahoo! Mail accounts come with a 
host of features that are rare in free 
packages, including powerful bulk 
email filters, antivirus scanning for 
file attachments, and the ability to 
easily synchronize your account with 
mobile devices. 

Perhaps best of all is the way 
Yahoo! Mail is integrated into so 
many of Yahoo!'s other services. It 
plays well with the company's pop- 
ular Yahoo! Messenger software, 
makes it easy to attach photos from 
your Yahoo! Pictures account, and 
provides easy access to Yahoo! 
Calendar. If you use Yahoo! a lot, 



Yahoo! Mail is a no-brainer. For 
more about Yahoo! Mail, check out 
"Yahoo! Mail" on page 85. 

Yahoo! Messenger 

Yahoo! Messenger has always been 
a powerful and popular instant mes- 
saging service, and it recently re- 
ceived some major enhancements. 
In addition to its ability to let people 
communicate instantly via text mes- 
sages, the service supports voice so 
users can make free, unlimited PC- 
to-PC calls worldwide. It integrates 
with your Yahoo! address book so 
you can easily add friends and other 
important contacts to the Messenger 



Yahoo! Timeline 








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June 21, 1999 


January 1994 


August 


1995 Aug. 29, 1997 Jan.! 




Jerry Yang and David Filo, 


Yahoo! 


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Yahoo! 




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With the 


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6 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



nside Yahoo! 



list, and now you can share pictures 
with others by simply dragging and 
dropping them into your Yahoo! 
Messenger window. Yahoo! recently 
announced that it is working with 
MSN to make both companies' in- 
stant messaging packages talk with 
and share contacts with one another, 
which will merge two enormous in- 
stant messaging communities when 
the technology is implemented 
sometime in the first half of 2006. 
To learn more about Messenger, see 
"Stay In Touch With Yahoo! Mes- 
senger" on page 88. 

Yahoo! Photos & Flikr 

Yahoo! Photos is an anomaly 
amongst free photo management and 
online storage services in that you can 
upload as many pictures as you like. 
There's no storage limit whatsoever, 
and the only catch is that you must 
log in to your account at least once 
every six months to keep your Yahoo! 
Photos account active. You can easily 
create photo albums to organize 



shots, and the Yahoo! Photos service 
integrates with nearly every other 
Yahoo! service to make it much easier 
to share your photos. 

Yahoo!'s recent acquisition of the 
popular Flikr photo service means 
that a lot of improvements are likely 
to happen to Yahoo! Photos, and 
Flikr users will be able to enjoy more 
storage space at a lower cost. 

Yahoo! 360° 

One of Yahoo !'s newest services is 
the previously invitation -only Yahoo! 
360°, which pulls together many of 
the company's other online services to 
make it easier for you to communi- 
cate with friends and family members. 
At its heart, it's a blog where users can 
easily post their thoughts and pictures 
and share them with others, but it is 
much more than a simple blog. You 
can be very selective with who gets ac- 
cess to what information, placing 
your contacts in different categories 
and only allowing people in certain 
categories to see everything you post. 



If your friends use Yahoo! 360°, you'll 
also see the latest items they've posted 
or uploaded every time you log in to 
your Yahoo! 360° account, so you can 
easily keep up with them without 
having to constantly check their 
blogs. Of course, 360° is also tightly 
integrated with Yahoo!'s other ser- 
vices. You can easily import pictures 
from Yahoo! Photos or send invites to 
people in your Yahoo! contacts list, 
for example. Find out more about 
Yahoo! 360° on page 93 in the article 
"Fun Comes Full Circle". 

Yahoo! Mobile 

Yahoo! Mobile may not get as 
much attention as some of the other 
other Yahoo! services such as Yahoo! 
Mail, but it's one of the best benefits 
of having a Yahoo! account. Service 
support varies from phone to phone, 
but includes access to Yahoo! 
Messenger, Yahoo! Mail, mobile 
blogging to your Yahoo! 360° ac- 
count, Yahoo! Photos, and much, 
much more. You can use your 



Oct. 30, 2000 

Yahoo! Buzz launches, 
giving visitors up-to-the- 
minute feedback about 
what other Yahoo! users 
are searching for. 



2000 



Dec 27, 2001 

Yahoo! acquires 
Hotjobs for $436 
million in stock 
and cash. 



Dec. 23, 2002 

Yahoo! buys Web search 
company Inktomi for 
$235 million in cash to 
incorporate Inktomi's 
technology in Yahoo!'s 
search engine. 



Jan. 29, 2003 

Yahoo! releases 
LAUNCHcast Plus, 
its first digital 
music subscription 
service. 



Oct. 7, 2003 

Yahoo! buys commercial search com- 
pany Overture for $1.63 billion, using 
Overture's technology to eventually 
create Yahoo! Search Marketing, which 
lets companies place their ads on search 
results pages. 



March 20, 2005 

Yahoo! acquires the 
Flikr online digital 
photo sharing and 
management service 
for approximately $40 



2005 



Oct. 12, 2005 

Microsoft and Yahoo! announce 
that users of their instant mes- 
saging services will be able to 
communicate with one another 
through either Microsoft or 
Yahoo!'s software. 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 7 



Inside Yahoo! 



Yahoo! account to send alerts to a 
mobile phone at a specific time 
(great for birthday and anniver- 
sary reminders), and you can also ac- 
cess Yahool's search engine or 
backup your mobile phone's contacts 
to your Yahoo! account very easily. 



Yahoo! Mobile works with most 
modern cell phones as well as Palm 
OS, Pocket PC, Windows CE, and 
Symbian/EPOC devices. Pre-mium 
Yahoo! services, such as ringtones, 
games, and screen savers, also are 
available. We look at Yahoo! Mobile 



in-depth on page 151 in the article 
"Especially For Mobile Users". 

Yahoo! Widgets 

This isn't the most important or 
useful Yahoo! service by a long shot, 



Yahool's Top Yahoos 



Yahoo! has become far more than the hobby of two ambitious doctorate candidates. It now takes a whole team of savvy business 
leaders to manage one of the world's most popular Web sites. Here's a quick introduction to some of the past and present faces 
behind Yahoo!. 





David Filo 

One of the co-founders of Yahoo!, 
David Filo has done quite well for him- 
self. He was on the Forbes list as one of 
the 10 richest Americans under 40, and 
his net worth is reported to be more 
than $3 billion. But this native of Moss 
Bluff, La., hasn't forgotten his roots. In 
2005, he donated $30 million to his 
alma mater, Tulane University, the 
Louisiana university where he received 
his B.S. in Computer Engineering. 



Jerry Yang 

Co-founder and current director of 
Yahoo!, Jerry Yang has also done well 
for himself, landing on the Forbes list 
as the sixth richest American under 
40. He started life in Taiwan, and when 
he was 10, his widowed mother 
moved the family to San Jose, Calif. 
(According to Wikipedia, Yang knew 
only one word of English when he 
landed in the States.) He holds B.S. 
and M.S. degrees in Electrical 
Engineering from Stanford University 
and is currently on sabbatical from 
Stanford's Ph.D. program. 



Terry Semel 

Q: What do "The Matrix," "Chariots of 
Fire," and "Lethal Weapon" have in 
common? A: Terry Semel. The co- 
founders of Yahoo! didn't have media 
roots before founding the company, 
but the same can't be said of the cur- 
rent CEO and director. Semel has an 
enviable track record; he and partner 
Robert Daly built Warner Brothers 
from a $1 billion company to an $11 
billion company. During his tenure, 
Warner Brothers experienced 18 con- 
secutive years of record profits (and 
made the aforementioned movies, 
among others). 



8 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



nside Yahoo! 



but it's certainly one of the most fun. 
Widgets (widgets.yahoo.com), which 
are small applications that have their 
own unique look instead of matching 
that of the operating system, were pio- 
neered by Pixoria in a product called 
Konfabulator. They were first available 



for Macs, and then a PC version was 
released, and both versions proved in- 
credibly popular. Instead of simply 
making some Yahoo! -branded widgets 
that would work with Konfabulator, 
Yahoo! bought Pixoria and rebranded 
its product as Yahoo! Widget Engine. 



Now there are dozens of Yahoo! 
Widgets ranging from a Yahoo! 
Weather viewer to a Yahoo! Maps 
viewer, and Yahoo! is safe in the 
knowledge that if competing compa- 
nies want to create compatible widgets, 
users must access them via Yahoo! 





Farzad Nazem 

Yahoo! has been through many 
changes in its history, and Farzad 
Nazem has been through most of 
them. He's the CTO and executive 
vice president, which means that the 
buck stops with him when it comes to 
all engineering areas of the site, in- 
eluding site operations and product 
development. His technical expertise 
(he has a B.S. in Computer Science 
from California Polytechnic State 
University) led to stints at Oracle, 
SYDIS, and Rolm before he joined 
Yahoo! in early 1996. 



Tim Koogle 

The first chief executive of Yahoo!, 
Tim Koogle wore many hats. He was 
president and CEO of Yahoo! from 
1995 to May 2001, chairman from 
1999 to 2001, and a member of the 
board of directors until 2003. He is 
widely credited with building Yahoo! 
into a viable, leading Internet media 
company, and he was named one of 
BusinessWeek's top 25 executives in 
1999 and 2000. He continues to work 
with technology startups. 



JeffMallett 

The former chief operating officer and 
president of Yahoo! from 1995 to 
2002, Jeff Mallett is a man of many tal- 
ents. Not only did help grow Yahoo!, 
but he was founder of Novell's 
WordPerfect consumer division and 
once turned down an opportunity to 
play pro soccer with the North 
American Soccer League. 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 9 



Inside Yahoo! 



One of the main reasons Yahoo! has been around so long 
and has been able to grow so large is that it is profitable. 



software. This is also Yahool's first 
product that has nothing to do with a 
Web browser. 

Making Money 

One of the main reasons Yahoo! has 
been around so long and has been able 
to grow so large is that it is profitable. 
It generated $5.2 billion in revenue just 
in 2005, for a net income of $1.9 bil- 
lion. Those are some big numbers — 
especially for a Web site — so with all of 
the free services Yahoo! offers, how 
does it make all of that money? 

Like most of its online competitors, 
Yahoo! rakes in the majority of its 
cash through advertising. According 
to the company's 2004 annual report, 
ads and related products such 
as sponsored search results ac- 
counted for approximately 88% 
of the company's total revenue. 
Much of this money comes from 
the Overture Search Advertising 
service Yahoo! offers to busi- 
nesses (price varies), which uses 
technology Yahoo! acquired 
when it bought Overture for 
$1.63 billion in 2003. Overture 
Search Advertising lets companies 
bid to have links to their compa- 
nies placed at the top of related 
search results lists at Yahoo!, 
MSN, AltaVista, CNN.com, and 
InfoSpace. Yahoo! claims these 
sponsored links are seen by more than 
80% of people who use the Web as 
long as they use search terms that 
match up with keywords that are re- 
lated to your site. 

So what about the remaining 22% 
of the billions Yahoo! generates? It 
comes from the fees Yahoo! charges 
for its numerous services. Yahoo! Mail 
is free, for example, but the company 



also offers Yahoo! Mail Plus for $19.99 
per year that comes with twice the 
amount of storage space and no ad- 
vertisements and has better unso- 
licited email filters and many other 
features unavailable to users of the 
free service. There's also GeoCities 
Plus (currently $2.48 per month) and 
GeoCities Pro (currently $4.48 per 
month) for Web site hosting, addi- 
tional online storage for Yahoo! 
Briefcase ($2.95 to $4.95 per month), 
Yahoo! By Phone that lets you access 
the site on a telephone ($4.95 per 
month), and Yahoo! DSL (Digital 
Subscriber Line) Internet Access plans 
($14.99 to $21.99 per month). The 
company also makes money from its 
Yahoo! Bill Pay service ($4.95 per 




Let Yahoo! take over your Desktop with Yahoo! Widgets, 
fun little programs that don't require a browser. 



month), which lets users pay bills over 
the Internet; its Yahoo! Real-Time 
Quotes stock quote service ($13.95 per 
month); and its Yahoo! Personals 
($24.95 per month) and Yahoo! 
Personals Premier ($39.95 per month) 
matchmaking services. 

Yahoo! sells digital music through 
its Yahoo! Music Unlimited ($6.99 
per month) download service and its 



LAUNCHcast Plus ($3.99 per month) 
online commercial- free radio service. 
It offers domain name registration for 
$2.99 per year (as of press time), has a 
classified ad service, and lets users 
listen to college sports broadcasts for 
$4.95 to $9.95 per month. Even if few 
of these numerous premium services 
are hugely profitable, they (along with 
their free counterparts) help draw 
new users to the site and keep them 
there for long periods of time, which 
in turn fuels Yahool's ability to gen- 
erate ad revenue. 

The Future Of Yahoo! 

All of that income gives Yahoo! 
the ability to continue growing at a 
tremendous pace, and the site is 
poised to become bigger and 
better in the future. In December 
2005 Yahoo! acquired Del.icio.us, 
a Web site with more than 300,000 
users that lets people easily share 
their favorite Web sites and links 
with friends and family members. 
Yahoo! also recently acquired 
Upcoming.org, a calendar and 
scheduling Web site. Both of these 
sites rely heavily on social net- 
working, so it's a safe bet that the 
technology they use will find its 
way into Yahoo! 360°. 

Yahoo! Mail will soon get an 
upgrade, as well. Yahoo! snapped 
up the excellent online Web-based 
email site Oddpost in July 2004, and a 
major upgrade of Yahoo! Mail that 
incorporates most of Oddpost's best 
features is currently in beta testing. 
Look for it, and who knows what else, 
at Yahoo! sometime later in 2006. H 

by Tracy Baker 



10 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



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Inside Yahoo! 



Yahoo! 
Goes Social 



The Web 2.0 



Big changes are afoot in the 
Yahoo! Universe. In fact, if 
you're one of the nearly 200 
million active registered Yahoo! users, 
you've probably noticed some of 
them already. Over the past several 
months, many of Yahoo!'s content 
areas have been revamped and several 
new services have launched, incorpo- 
rating tools and technologies that 
make it easy for users to create and 
share their own content. 

While encouraging user participa- 
tion and content creation isn't a new 
concept for Yahoo! — witness the 
millions of product ratings and re- 
views in the Shopping area — the 
methods and motivation and types of 
content Yahoo! is cultivating are. 
Some call it "social media." Others 
refer to "a culture of participation." 
Marketing folk and the digerati 
might talk about "Web 2.0." 

Whatever the label, Yahoo! is 
joining the ranks of companies that are 
harnessing the power of the many and 
embracing the idea that users, both in- 
dividually and collectively as a large so- 
cial network, can actively participate in 
the co-creation of content. And just as 
importantly, they're embracing the 
idea that through the networking ef- 
fect, user content adds value, and the 
more users that participate, the more 
valuable the content becomes. 

Why the shift from top-down con- 
tent provider to this more democra- 
tized model? Certainly one of the 
issues at the heart of the strategic 
change is Yahoo! 's need to differen- 
tiate itself from its competitors (read: 
Google) in the search engine/portal 




market. While Google might have its 
much-touted PageRank technology, 
Yahoo! is aiming to supplement its 
own algorithmic search and catego- 
rized list of links with a social search 
feature based on tagging and so-called 
"folksonomy" — categorization by the 
people rather than a structured tax- 
onomy handed down by the experts. 

Web 2.0: Marketing Hype Or The 
Next Web Wave? 

The other driving force is that the 
Web itself is evolving. Users who 
never felt the need (or had the ability) 
to create a "home page" are now 
blogging or, if they're more inclined 
to talk rather than write, podcasting. 
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) 
feeds, which are Web content or sum- 
maries of content often combined 
with hyperlinks to more content, are 
everywhere, and people are sub- 
scribing to RSS feeds and pushing out 
their own in droves. 

Applications are becoming Web- 
based, allowing for collaboration 
across time and space that wasn't pos- 
sible just a few years ago. And many 
of these applications remain in "per- 
petual beta" for months, even years, 
with frequent releases (transparent to 
the user) as new features are rolled 
into the product. Users are encour- 
aged to provide feedback, and much 



of the feedback is then incorporated 
into future releases — a nice little loop 
of co-creation. 

All of these changes fall under the 
umbrella of what is coming to be 
known as "Web 2.0." The term has 
been gaining popularity as a way of de- 
scribing the direction in which the Web 
has evolved in the post dot-com bust 
years (which might be retroactively la- 
beled "Web 1.0"). Yahoo! is clearly 
making a shift along these Web 2.0 lines 
as evidenced both by its recent acquisi- 
tions and its application development. 

Flickr&MyWeb2.0 

Yahoo!'s shift in focus can be 
traced back to its March 2005 acquisi- 
tion of a young Web site called Flickr 
(www.flickr.com). A digital photo- 
sharing site, Flickr zoomed to popu- 
larity shortly after making its debut in 
early 2004. Flickr lets users easily up- 
load photos (particularly from mobile 
phones and other mobile devices), tag 
and organize them, and share them 
with others. It also boasts some nifty 
features, such as social discussion 
groups built around particular photo- 
graphic themes and the ability to 
annotate photos with electronic 
sticky-type notes. These features 
quickly gained Flickr a large and fa- 
natically devoted membership of over 
1.5 million users and counting. 



12 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



nside Yahoo! 



Although some Flickrites were wor- 
ried that the unique and quirky site 
that they had grown to love would be- 
come just another cog in the Yahoo! 
machine, the opposite seems to have 
happened. The marriage between 
Yahoo! and Flickr has resulted not in 
a corporatization of Flickr, but in- 
stead in a Flickrization of Yahoo! with 
many of the features that users found 
so appealing in Flickr being propa- 
gated to existing content areas and 
spawning new ones. 

An example of this is My Web 
2.0 (myweb2.search.yahoo.com), 
launched in June 2005. My Web 
2.0 is a social search tool that lets 
users create and save bookmarks 
on the Web rather than on their 
home computer. These links can 
be annotated, tagged, and shared 
with either a select group of 
people or with anyone at all, as 
users can create RSS-like feeds 
that are updated and pushed out 
every time they add a link. 

Once more exemplifying how 
things tend to come full circle, 
Yahoo !'s foray into social search 
might be seen as a return to its 
roots. Yahoo! began in 1994 as a 
hand-edited list of links known 
simply as "Jerry and David's Guide to 
the World Wide Web," as two 
Stanford students gathered together 
and published links related to their 
own interests, eventually organizing 
the list into categories when it became 
too unwieldy. 

With My Web 2.0, Yahoo! again 
turns to hand-edited lists, the big differ- 
ence being that this time there are mil- 
lions of hands doing the editing and 
categorizing. The theory is that people 
who are interested in a particular sub- 
ject will spend time searching for links 
that are truly relevant to that interest. 
When they find a link, after separating 
the wheat of good links from the chaff 
of irrelevant or unreliable ones, they 
can save and categorize it with key- 
words that make sense to them and that 
will likely make sense to others who 
have a similar subject-matter interest. 



Bradley Horowitz, director of tech- 
nology development at Yahoo! Search, 
has publicly criticized the industry- 
wide habit of letting Webmasters con- 
trol how Web sites and pages are 
ranked. Rather, he feels that search 
relevance should be assessed based 
on the searcher's context and/or that 
searcher's elected community of 
friends, family, and/or colleagues. 

In December 2005, Yahoo! acquired 
del.icio.us (del.icio.us), the site that 
popularized social bookmarking and 



Photos Yours Uploa 



Your Contacts' Explon 



flickr 



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nagrrl's photostream 



This photo also belongs to 



Flickr lets users add notes to each others' photos and 
submit photos to interest groups, facilitating social 
networking and information sharing. 



the one that My Web 2.0 had been 
most often compared to. How this 
move will impact the development of 
My Web 2.0 remains to be seen. As 
with Flickr, del.icio.us brings with it a 
highly dedicated user base — about 
300,000 strong with more than 10 mil- 
lion saved pages and half a million 
tags. Contrast this to the slow-growing 
My Web 2.0, with about 600,000 saved 
pages and 130,000 tags, and it's clear 
that Yahoo!'s product could benefit 
from this influx of users if the two sys- 
tems merge. 

At the same time, there is a lot of 
skepticism among del.icio.us afi- 
cionados, with some threatening to 
withdraw their content if Yahoo! tries 
to silo it into a "walled garden" avail- 
able only to those with a Yahoo! ac- 
count and who are willing to stay 
inside the Yahoo! network. Given the 



positive way in which Yahoo! handled 
the Flickr transition, and the evidence 
that Yahoo! is letting go of some 
control over content on its network 
(such as opening up the APIs [Appli- 
cation Programming Interfaces] for 
many of its new areas and not re- 
quiring that all content associated be 
hosted on the Yahoo! network), that 
fear is hopefully unfounded. 

In fact, for Yahoo! to succeed in the 
emerging world of social networking 
and Web 2.0, it will have to become 
more open and more willing to let 
control of a user's content remain 
in the user's hands. If the company 
tries to restrict it, many will simply 
find other services and applications 
that don't have strings attached. 

Putting The Network To Work 

My Web 2.0, though the most 
"Flickr-like" in terms of the 
ability to apply tags, is only one of 
the areas that has benefited from 
Yahoo!'s adoption of Web 2.0 
and social networking tools. 
Below are several others, and 
more can be found at Yahoo! 
Next, (next.yahoo.com), a show- 
case of some of Yahoo!'s up- 
coming projects (see "Yahoo Next!" 
on page 122 for more information 
about Yahoo! Next). 

Yahoo! 360°. Introduced in March 
2005, Yahoo! 360° (360.yahoo.com) 
is a social networking tool (a la 
Friendster) that integrates blogging, 
photo sharing (with either a Yahoo! 
photo album or Flickr stream), and 
other Yahoo! Services, such as Local, 
Launch, Messenger, and Groups. 
Users can also customize RSS feeds 
and create a feed of their own blog. 
The look of a page is determined by 
selecting one of the dozens of 
themes provided. As with any social 
networking tool, friends need to be 
invited and accept the invitation 
to be added to a network, and 
Yahoo! 360° allows filtering of con- 
tent to different friend groups via 
user-defined tags. 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 13 



Inside Yahoo! 



Yahoo! Answers. If you've got a 
question, there's a good chance that 
somebody, somewhere on the Inter- 
net has the answer. Or at least an an- 
swer. If that somebody is a Yahoo! 
Answers (answers.yahoo.com) user, 
you're in luck. Unlike the Google 
Answers approach, where a) you pay 
$2.50 or more to have your question 
answered and b) the answers are 
provided by "carefully screened 
Researchers," Yahoo! Answers, 
launched in December 2005, relies 
on other users to share their facts, 
opinions, or personal experiences 
to scratch your knowledge itch. 
Questions are categorized and are 
browseable and searchable. When 
multiple answers are given, the best 
answer is chosen by either the asker 
or by a community vote. Answerers 
gain points by giving accurate and 
frequent answers, and the more 
points they have, the higher their ex- 
pert level rating. 

Yahoo! Shoposphere. While Ya- 
hoo!'s shopping site has long al- 
lowed users to rate and review items, 
Shoposphere, launched in Novem- 
ber 2005, introduces user-created 
shopping recommendations via 
"Pick Lists." After pulling together a 
themed list of items, such as "My fa- 
vorite gadgets" or "Gifts for those 
who love to cook," users can add 
commentary and share these recom- 
mendations with other shoppers. 
Shoppers can then comment on the 
lists, subscribe to them via RSS, and 
vote on their usefulness. The highest 




Everyone's. Tagi 

ajax apple aft art fip.U article articles audio background hest bio biography 

blinkbits blog biogging blogs books business go* 

comics community computer computers COOl CSS cumine anidom design 
development duwrioad dOwrtMfci economics education email cnqfcpcda 

entertainment feed feeds iiim inane* flrefox flash ftickr feed free 
freeware fUfl funny games gaming geek general QOOgle grapnics old 

nacKs hardware health history nomc hOWtO km hum Or ideas imafl«. 

information interring internet ipnd iraq JSVS javascript jobs language law 

leaning library links llFlLIX mac management maps marketing media microsoft 

mobile movies mpj -■:.■■.■: 116 WS cniinn Dpensource open source osx people 

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programming p>-r*r. radio mdp« reference religion research 

rce ■ -. cpionro coarrh gnJ ..ipif»p chnnninn ™ n ;^\ 



Yahoo's version of a 
tag cloud also allows 
sorting that shows 
the tags shared by a 
user's community. 



rated pick lists get pushed to the 
Shoposphere landing page (shop 
ping.yahoo.com/shoposphere). 
Coming soon: Users will be able to 
tag their lists for easier searching, 
and Yahoo! will start revenue 
sharing with various Pick Lists pub- 
lishers to encourage them to adver- 
tise their lists and drive traffic to the 
Yahoo! domain. 

Yahoo! Local. Launched in August 
2005, the newest version of Yahoo! 
Local (local.yahoo.com) lets users dig 
down to the heart of what "local" 
means. Though a search is still initi- 
ated with a city or ZIP code, users can 
now select a neighborhood within a 
larger city to access or add their own 
user reviews of shops, services, and 
restaurants in that specific neighbor- 
hood. Additionally, the Yahoo! Local 
search box shows a list of the most 
popular local searches for that week 
so users can see what others are 
checking out in their area. 



"X&ElOOf, A N S W E R S 



Whether you have a 

question or just 

want to see what 

other people are 

asking about, Yahoo! 

Answers provides an 

easy way to learn 

something new. 




the Web I I _ 



answer. 



Featured Question 



discover. 



Why do bears (not in 
Chicago) hibernate in 
winter? 







L * &_ Cooking 



Ready to participate?- '^r. ;:>';; ! 



Meet the team behind Yahoo! Answers -- read our blog ! 



Share what you know. Answer open questions. 



Arts & Humanities 
•> Auto &. Transportation 



; ; 



Yahoo! Maps. Ap- 
pearing in November 
2005, the next genera- 
tion of Yahoo! Maps 
(maps.yahoo.com/beta 
/index.php) is a flash application that 
integrates seamlessly with the Yahoo! 
Local business directory, letting you 
browse or search for restaurants, 
ATMs, mass transit, and other relevant 
locations. Because it's Flash-based, the 
maps are updated immediately with- 
out a redraw. Other cool features in- 
clude a live traffic monitor, the ability 
to create multipoint driving directions 
with as many stops along the way as 
needed, and an option to either email 
a map or send it to a mobile phone. 
Taking a cue from Google maps, 
Yahoo! has opened its APIs so that 
anyone with a little know-how can 
create custom maps. Expect to see 
some mashups (applications built on 
top of Yahoo! maps using data from 
other sources) soon. 

Yahoo! Travel Trip Planner. When 
you're getting ready to travel to some- 
place completely unknown, one of the 
first things you often do is ask for trip 
planning tips from friends who have 
gone before. In October 2005, the 
Yahoo! Trip Planner (travel. yahoo 
.com/trip) service debuted, letting 
you browse through itineraries that 
others have published as a starting 
point for planning your own trip. 
Then, after you create your own itin- 
erary, you can publish it on Trip 
Planner along with photos, reviews, 
tips, and customized maps so that 
others can benefit from your travel 
experiences — good and bad. H 

by William Van Winkle 



14 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



nside Yahoo! 



Your Door 
To The Web 

Find Your Way Around Yahoo! 




In 1994 Yahoo! started out as 
Jerry Yang and David Filo's per- 
sonal collection of useful and in- 
teresting links collected from the 
burgeoning Internet. Over the course 
of 12 years, Yahoo!'s exponential 
growth has paralleled that of the 
Internet itself, and today, Yahoo! 
(www.yahoo.com) is the preeminent 
portal, a superpower of a Web desti- 
nation where millions of people go for 
the information they want. 

The Internet In A Nutshell 

At first glance, Yahoo! 's home page 
looks crammed with information, but 
Yahoo! has made a concerted effort to 
let you customize what you see using 
My Yahoo! (learn more about My 
Yahoo! on page 22). Although the 
layout of the page can change once 
you setup your My Yahoo! prefer- 
ences, there are a number of features 
and services that appear by default. 

Because Yahoo! relies heavily on 
advertising revenue, you'll find con- 
text-sensitive advertisements sprin- 
kled throughout Yahoo!'s pages. If 
you click any of the ads, you'll leave 
Yahoo! 's site. For the most part, the 
ads are labeled as Advertisements, and 
some even include a link for submit- 
ting feedback. 

When you visit Yahoo!, one of the 
first things you'll notice are the col- 
orful icons at the top of the page. The 
three icons on the right side of the 
Yahoo! logo are for Mail, My Yahoo!, 
and Messenger. To use these services, 
you'll need a Yahoo! ID. For more 
information about how to register with 



Yahoo!, check out the article "Identify 
Yourself on page 20. The three icons 
on the left side of the Yahoo! logo in- 
clude drop-down menus for choosing 
specific services you want Yahoo! to 
display each time you load the home 
page. You can choose from all 50 of 
Yahoo!'s services, such as Autos, 
Finance, Groups, Health, Kids, Maps, 
Movies, and Games. You can even set 
up these icons to take you to any of 
Yahoo !'s international sites. 

Below the main logo, you'll find the 
Yahoo! search engine, which lets you 
enter a query and explore the Inter- 
net. By clicking the search categories 
above the text box, you can find spe- 
cific items such as news, images, 
video, directory services, local busi- 
nesses and services, and shopping. 
The most well-known aspects of 
Yahoo! include the search engine, 
Yahoo! Mail, and Yahoo! Messenger, 
but those items only represent a frac- 
tion of Yahoo!'s host of services. 

The remaining sections of the 
Yahoo! home page consist of boxes 
that contain links to other services, 
news headlines, popular searches, and 
a couple of advertisements. If you're a 
news buff, then check out the upper- 
right side of the page for the In The 
News box. Here you'll find the latest 
national and international headlines, 
updated minute by minute. 

For the latest weather and traffic in- 
formation, see the box directly below 
the news headlines. Simply type your 
ZIP code and click Go. By default, 
Yahoo! checks the Save Location On 
This Page checkbox so that you can 
instantly see local information every 



time you load the 
Yahoo! home page. 
Once you have given 
Yahoo! your ZIP code, 
you'll see a brief report 
of today's weather and 
tomorrow's outlook. 
Click the Traffic link to 
load the Yahoo! Maps page 
for a look at traffic congestion, the lo- 
cation and severity of traffic incidents, 
and overall road conditions. 

The Marketplace box displays ad- 
vertisements and shopping links. If 
you own a small business, then check 
out the Yahoo! Advertising Solutions 
box in the lower-right corner of the 
page, which lets you access details 
about advertising on Yahoo!. Business 
owners may also be interested in the 
Yahoo! Small Business services box in 
the middle left of the Yahoo! home 
page, which includes links for Web 
Hosting, Domain Names, Sell Online, 
and Search Listings. 

Yahoo! also has a list of Featured 
Services next to the Small Business 
box, including Downloads, Hotjobs 
(for finding and posting jobs offers), 
and Personal Website. The Buzz Log 
section is a pop culture potpourri, 
featuring data about the most popular 
Web searches and current Internet 
trends. If you still haven't found what 
you're looking for, scan the left side of 
the page for Entertainment, Yahoo! 
Web Directory, and More Yahoo! 
Services links. 

Tip Of The Iceberg 

The items you see on the home 
page represent only a small sampling 
of Yahoo!'s total features. If you're 
looking for more in-depth informa- 
tion, click any of the box titles or click 
the "More" links to the right of the 
box titles. H 

by Andrew Leibman 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 15 



Scratching Yahool's Surface 



Think of Yahool's home page as a snapshot of the entire 
Web. Once you dive in, you'll quickly see how easy it is to 
find what you want, no matter what that is. Although the 
interface may appear cluttered at first glance, you can get 
more information about your desired topic by accessing 
any of the dozens of links that take you deeper into 
Yahool's gallery of Web resources. 



I Advanced Search 

If you find the generic word search from the home page a little 
too vague for your tastes, then click the Advanced link next to 
the Yahoo! Search button to add nuance to your query. 



File Edit View Favorites 


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any of these words | 




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none of these words | 




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| anytime 

© Any domain 

O Only .com domains O Only .edu domains 

O Only .gov domains ("> Only .org domains 






O only search in this domain sits 

Tip: You can search for results in a specific website (e.g. yahoc 

□ Search only for Creative Commons licensed content 


1 


^creative 
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Zm Images 

If you can picture it in your mind (or even if you can't), Yahoo! 
Images search feature can probably show you what "it" looks 
like. You can even filter pictures by size, including Wallpaper, 
Large, Medium, and Small. 



File Edit View Favorites Tools Help 



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Welcome, Guest [Sign In" 
















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Web 


Images 


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Audio 


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J Audio 

As we went to press, Yahoo! had just added the Audio option 
to its search categories. Enter an audio search term, such as a 
musician or a sound, and then click Search. Each result details 
the service or Web site offering the audio file, the format of 
the file, platform (such as Windows or Mac), length, and size. 



"YXHOOl SEARCH & 



Video Audio Directory Local Nev 



[ Search ] 



My Web 
Audio Results 

Matching Music | Podcasts | Oth- 
Refine: Any | Song | Artist | Album 



Results 1 - 10 of about 3,175 for Bor 



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Bon Jovi - Wanted Dead or Alive (5:07) 



7 dc-.vnlcac! locations for this audio file 
Album: Cross Road (Mercury, 1994) 
Search for Reviews 

Bon Jovi - Bed of Roses (6:34) * 

7 dovvnload locations for this audio file 
Album: Cross Road (Mercury, 1994) 
Search for Reviews 



3. Bon Jovi - Always [5:52) 'al.ii ss 






Bon Jovi 

-" a :.■-= for this artist 



Jon Bon Jovi 

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T" Shopping 

Click the Marketplace or Shopping link on the Yahoo! home 
page to go to the Yahoo! Shopping page. Choose a product 
category or just browse the page for special offers that 
scream your name. 



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Popular Categories 
Electronics 






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Most Popular Products 




kJ News 

Click the In The News link on the right side of the home page 
to see Yahoofs News page, which boasts headlines from the 
AP, Reuters, AFP, USATODAY.com, CSMonitor.com, and NPR. 
Scroll down the page for Top Stories, Most Popular, Business, 
Science, Entertainment, Sports, and Opinion. 



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Alito Appears Headed for Confirmation 

AP- I hour, 54 minutes ago 

WASHINGTON - Supreme Court nominee Samuel 
Alito seem;: ■■■-■- "-. -:,a y toward Senate 
confirmation, defending his judicial record to 

- justice he 
would replace — Sandra Day O'Connor. 
SI Slideshow: U.S. Supreme Court 



L ^ 



Ariel Sharon 

The latest news 
analysis, photos, 
video and more. 







16 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Yahoo! At Your Service 



'i^j\ Check 


your mail status: S 


350° 


Horoscopes 


Autos 


HotJobs 


Finance 


Kids 






GeoCities 


Mail 


Groups 


Maps 


Health 


Mobile 



Yahoo! is more than 
just a snazzy search en- 
gine. When you park 
yourself at Yahoofs 
home page, you'll in- 
stantly see a number of services that you can use for free. 
For just a taste of what lies within Yahoofs bag of tricks, 
check out the box of links below the Search The Web box. 



U Yahoo! Mail 

Yahoofs email service first launched in 1997 and has seen 
more than a few updates and revamps. Today's version looks 
more like a desktop-style email application and offers 1GB of 
storage space, free virus cleaning, and the ability to access your 
email from your mobile phone. 



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Presses "*' Calendar T Notepad 






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;: Top Stories » [Hide] 



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. Brcwn Sugar Junkies (Kevin Sites in the HotZonf 



Double protection this virus season. 

Yahoo! Mail not only scans your email attach 
i I im-i ii. -. - . tan messages. 

Now you can rest easy. 





:*: = ■,:::=■: : c^-Mght IF Fclio, 



/ Yahoo! Music 

Yahoo! offers both free and subscription-based music services, 
which let you access Internet radio, music downloads, and all 
the latest information about your favorite artists. 




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O Yahoo! Messenger 

You can download and use the 
Yahoo! Messenger to send and re- 
ceive instant messages and voice 
chat with others directly from your 
Desktop via the Internet. Yahoo! 
Messenger also lets you drag and 
drop photos and transfer files that 
you can share with your Yahoo! 
Messenger buddies. Furthermore, 
you can view your Yahoo! Mail and 
catch up on the latest news, sports 
scores, and stock quotes. 



*7 GeoCities 

If you're interested in creating your own Web page, then Yahoo! 
has you covered. The GeoCities Web Hosting service has three 
tiers, the most basic of which is free. GeoCities PLUS and 
GeoCities PRO offer no advertisements and more storage space, 
plus other features, for $4.95 and $8.95 a month, respectively. 



Messenger Contacts Actions Help 
© Llsemame - Available ▼ 



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"XfcHOOtGEOCITIES Eg 



GeoCities FREE 

Web Hosting 
Share your personality with the world, for free. 



Yahoo! member sign-in 




GeoCities PLUS No ads plus extra storage 

it$4.95/m 



GeoCities PRO Your own domain plus email 



Web Hosting STARTER 

Need even more? 



.0*™. S8.967mo. 



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10 



Yahoo! Local 

This useful page lets you search for maps and driving directions 
by filling out the text boxes with your geographical specifics. 



%HOOr LOCAL ggS 



Lincoln NE S8521 



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2 <C) Add to Addre 



Sandhills Publishing CO USA 

(402) 479-2181 



Excellent 

***** 



How to get there 
TfXHook 



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Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 17 



Inside Yahoo! 




The Whole Enchilada 



With so many pages, it's easy to get lost on Yahooi's site. To access the 
sitemap, click the All Y! Services link from the box at the upper-left 
side of the home page and below the Search The Web bar. The Everything 
Yahoo! page consists of an A to Z index of more than a hundred links. If you 
need something online, then the Everything Yahoo! page can probably help 
you find it fast. 

Yahoo!'s Everything page displays a box of What's New At Yahoo! items 
just above the list of A-Z links. To the right you'll find the See What's Hot 
On Yahoo! Search links. 

The upper portion of the Everything Yahoo! page features four links la- 
beled Information, Communication, Shopping, and Entertainment. Clicking 
any of them will display a handful of other links and drop boxes in the sec- 
tion immediately below the links to make navigating to the information 
you want a little easier. 

The Everything Yahoo! page loads with the Information tab selected by 
default. Here, you'll find links for the day's top news stories, stock quotes, 
and market news. You can also learn about how to use Yahoofs RSS (Really 
Simple Syndication) and Yahoo! Shortcuts by clicking the appropriate links. 
To the right of the links, the Yahoo! News search engine lets you select a 
category, such as Top Stories, Business, World, Sports, and Technology, so 
you can find the latest news in those categories. 



^&HOO^ 



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See the latest news 

■ Read todays top nev.s stories 

• -~-rt the -i-:t H.ll II I 3CCC| 



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Yahoo! A-Z Index 






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Parental Controls 
People ■i-earoh 
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Security Center 

Sponsor Listings 

Spyvvare Removal 
Stock Quotes 






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Weather 
Widgets 



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Yahoo! by Phcm 
Yahoo! FhonsC 



The Communication tab features six links for tools that help 
you keep in touch with friends and family, connect to other 
Yahoo! members, create a blog, and share photos. To see the 
Yahoo! services available for your mobile phone, select your 
carrier from the drop-down box on the right and then select 
your phone from the Phone Brand drop-down box. 



Yahoo! My Yahoo! Mail 

EVERYTHING TQSiHDOt * 




I 



Stay in touch with these cool tools 

■ Make free worldwide PC-to-PC calls 

■ Email photos wttou? attachments 

■ Check & compose email en your mobile phor 

Connect & share with friends 

■ Find fellow Yahoo! members 

■ Share photos & start your own blog 

■ Meet others who share your interests 



^ 



t&HoO! MOBILE 

See what's available 
•'iieless Ca rrier: 

my wireless carrier v 
Phone Brand; 

my phone manufacturer v 

Search Mobile | 



The Shopping tab features half a dozen links for comparing 
prices, bidding on products, and searching for exactly what 
you want. To the right, you can select a search category, 
such as Bargains, Clothing, DVD & Video, Toys & Baby, and 
Music. Type a search term and then click the Search 
Shopping button. 



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Get great deals 

■ Search clczei el sites foi flighi 

■ Find and bid on products 

■ Get pnie ■ l .1- rom looal '--I- . 

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■ Compare prices from ever 200 000 store; 

■ Shop top electronics & gadgets 

■ Compare car prices features & more 






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Search Shopping 



Click the Entertainment tab to see links for movie times, 
restaurant locations and reviews, music videos, and games. 
You can even find someone to share your dinner and movie 
with by clicking the Find A Great Date link. To the right, you 
can use the Yahoo! Music search engine to find Artists, 
Albums, Songs, and Videos. 



EVERYTHING 



YAHoor: 



Information | Communication | STu 




Go out on the town 

■ Find restaurants & get reviews 

■ See movie showtimes & buy tickets 

■ Fin:! a great date 

Entertain yourself online 

■ Watch the hottest music videos 

■ Play games on your PC 

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18 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



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Copyright © 2006 Syntax-Brillian Corporation All Rights Reserved 



Inside Yahoo! 



Identify Yourself 

Get A Yahoo! ID To Make The Most Of Yahooi's Tools 



A 



nyone with a PC 
and Internet ac- 
cess can go to Ya- 
hoo! and use a number of 
tools, including Yahooi's 
ever popular Search en- c 

gine or its Stock Quotes 
tool. Though these are 
great (not to mention free) 
services, if you want full ac- 
cess to all the features Yahoo! 
offers, you have to register for 
a Yahoo! ID. 

To start this process, click the 
Sign Up link next to Free Mail 
below Yahooi's Search The Web 
text box, then click the Sign Up 
For Yahoo! Mail button at the 
bottom-left side of the page to sign up 
for the free version of Yahooi's email. 
Also, you can sign up for a Yahoo! ID 
anywhere Yahoo! asks users to sign in. 
Usually, right below the Sign In link, 
there is a Sign Up link that will take 
you to the Yahoo! Registration page. 

Feel Creative 

The registration process is broken 
down into five sections. The first of 
these, the Create Your Yahoo! ID sec- 
tion, requires you to enter your first 
and last name into the text box for 
each. Next, select your local Yahoo! site 
from the Preferred Content drop-down 
menu. For instance, if you live in the 
United States and speak English, leave 
Yahoo! U.S. (the default setting) as 
your choice. If your primary language 
is French and you live in Canada, select 
Yahoo! Canada In French from the 
drop-down menu. If you select this, the 
registration form will automatically be 
translated to French and your email 
address will end in "@yahoo.ca" 




instead of "@yahoo.com" as it would if 
the Preferred Content field was set to 
Yahoo! U.S. 

After you select your preferred 
content site, choose your gender 
from the Gender drop-down menu, 
and type a suggestion for your 
Yahoo! ID. As you type, a Check 
Availability Of This ID button will 
appear. Click it after you finish 



^.HOOFJD Helper 



^ Yahoo! ID smnitcompiitiny is unavailable. 



Enter up to three wouls for sorn 

'''-.v. ■■ . -. 

(recommended) 


3 Try another Yahoo! ID: 


i. |Smart 


1 




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2. jComputing 


1 
1 


Example: afamri 
and color 


e place, pet 


Oho* Some IDs 


[ Check Availability of This ID | 











. Done 



The Yahoo! ID Helper can generate IDs for you 
if your initial thought is already taken. 



typing your preferred ID to make 
sure someone else hasn't already 
taken your Yahoo! tag. If your ID is 
available, you'll get a congratulatory 
notice from the Yahoo! ID Helper 
and you can continue. If, however, 
someone has dibs on your Yahoo! 
handle, the ID Helper will pop up to 
help you find one that isn't taken. 
It displays three text boxes where 
you can enter key terms that you 
want to use in your Yahoo! ID. 
For instance, we initially tried the 
ID "SmartComputing." This is a 
fairly general tag, so we weren't 
terribly surprised when it was al- 
ready taken. Next we entered the 
terms "Smart," "Computing," and 
"Yahoo" in the ID Helper text 
boxes and clicked the Show Some 
IDs button. The generator gave us 
a list of available IDs including 
smartcomputingbarbarian and 
smartcomputingboor. 

If you get a list that you aren't 
happy with, click the Show More 
Available IDs link below the ID 
list to get more suggestions. Click 
Edit Suggestion Words just below 
that to change the three words you 
typed in the text boxes. If you want 
to keep playing the guessing game, 
the Yahoo! ID Helper also has a text 
box where you can enter another po- 
tential ID. After you type a name 
in that text box, click the Check 
Availability Of This ID button to see 
if your latest idea is available. Once 
you find an available user ID that 
you like, you can continue regis- 
tering by typing a password in the 
Password text box and confirming it 
by entering it again, this time in the 
Re-type Password text box. Mind 
your Caps Lock though, Yahooi's 
password queries are case-sensitive, 
so capitalization matters. 

Forget Me Not 

The next section, entitled If You 
Forget Your Password . . ., lets you 
create a security question to answer 
in case you forget your Yahoo! 



20 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



nside Yahoo! 



Verify Your Registration 






t^pae^^k 



The verification text you enter when 
you create an ID helps Yahoo! prevent 
automated registrations. 



password. Select a question from the 
Security Question drop-down menu, 
and type an answer longer than three 
characters in the Your Answer sec- 
tion. Other criteria Yahoo! can use to 
confirm your identity, should you 
lose your Yahoo! login information, 
include your birthday, ZIP code, and 
an alternate email address. Be sure to 
fill out the alternate email field if you 
have another email address. If you 
ever forget your Yahoo! ID, Yahoo! 
can send your information to you via 
this alternate email address. Your 
birthday and ZIP code are required 
pieces of information, so you'll have 
to fill out those text boxes in order to 
complete your registration. 

Make Yahoo! Yours 

After you complete the required 
criteria in the If You Forget Your 
Password section, you can continue 
to the next part, Customizing Yahoo!. 
This section isn't required to get a 
Yahoo! ID, but you may want to take 
a few seconds to complete it anyway. 
Yahoo! collects information such as 
the industry you work in and your job 
title for advertising purposes. 

Verify & Accept 

In order to prevent automated 
registrations, Yahoo! requires that 
you enter a verification code. Just 
enter the code that appears on your 
screen in the Enter The Code Shown 
text box, and read through the 
Terms Of Service agreement just 
below the Verify Your Registration 
section. Sometimes this goofy look- 
ing registration code, comprised of 
random letters and numbers, can be 
tricky to decipher. If you accidentally 
enter an incorrect code Yahoo! will 



give you a different code that 
may be easier to read. After you 
read the Terms Of Service statement 
(or if you just decide to skip over it) 
click the I Agree button to create 
your Yahoo! account. 



Yahoo! Privacy Policy 



Though there are a few things you 
can do on the Yahoo! Web site while 
remaining anonymous to Yahoo!, if 
you want to take full advantage of 
nearly everything Yahoo! offers, you 
need a Yahoo! ID. Getting one is 
very easy, and it's well worth the few 
minutes you'll spend creating a 
name for yourself. Qjs] 

by Sam Evans 



Ever wonder what 
happens with the in- 
formation you give to 
Yahoo! when you reg- 
ister? After all, you 
shouldn't give out infor- 
mation such as your 
name, birthday, email 
address, and ZIP code to 
just anyone online who 
asks for it. You can learn 
exactly what Yahoo! 
does with your personal 
information by reading 
Yahoo!'s Privacy Policy. 
There is a link to it at 
the bottom of the 
Yahoo! home page. 

Yahoo! collects infor- 
mation such as your 
name, ZIP code, and 
gender when you reg- 
ister for its products or 
services. The one excep- 
tion to this is if you claim 
to be a child under the 
age of 13. In that case, 
Yahoo! suggests that you 
have a parent create a 
Yahoo! Family Account. 

Yahoo! uses the infor- 
mation to customize 
the advertising you'll 
see, both Yahoo! adver- 
tising and non-Yahoo!- 
related advertising, and 
to conduct demo- 
graphic research for 
this customizable 



advertising system, 
among other purposes. 
Generally, you won't 
have to worry about the 
information you give 
Yahoo! getting into 
anyone else's hands, but 
Yahoo! will release your 
personal information in 
a few extreme instances, 
such as if Yahoo! is sub- 
poenaed and must pre- 
sent your information in 
court or if Yahoo! ever 
merges with another 
company. If the latter 
happens, Yahoo! will no- 
tify you before your in- 
formation is transferred. 

Check out the Yahoo! 
Privacy Policy for a com- 
plete list of these excep- 
tions, as well as a lot 
more information on 
Yahoofs security policies 
and procedures. Yahoo! 
reserves the right to up- 
date its privacy policy, 
which took effect March 
28, 2002, at any time. If 
they choose to do so 
you will be notified by 
an email to your Yahoo! 
email account or by a 
notice on the Yahoo! 
Web site. 

If you ever get un- 
wanted emails from ad- 
vertisers, or if at any 



time you want to stop 
receiving bulletins from 
a Yahoo! service, try ad- 
justing the settings in 
Marketing Preferences. 
The Marketing Prefer- 
ences link is located 
in the Assistance sec- 
tion on the left side 
of the Privacy Policy 
home page. 

After you sign in, 
you'll go to the Yahoo! 
Account Information 
page. The tab on this 
Web page, the Market- 
ing Preferences tab, lets 
you opt-in or out of re- 
ceiving notices from a 
variety of Yahoo! ser- 
vices. Go to the Special 
Offers And Marketing 
Communications From 
Yahoo! section and 
uncheck the boxes of 
the services you don't 
want to receive offers 
from. Once you fine- 
tune your settings, click 
the Save Changes but- 
ton at the bottom of the 
page to save your new 
settings. You can also 
sign up to receive offers 
from selected third 
parties as well as cus- 
tomize how Yahoo! can 
contact you. I 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 21 



Inside Yahoo! 



My Yahoo! 

Give Yourself The Ultimate Home Page 




First, you check your email. 
Next, CNN.com for the news. 
Later, you look at three weather 
sites (in order to get two forecasts that 
agree with each other) and then drift 
over to a handful of blogs and hobby 
sites you like. It's a ritual by now, and 
it's a comfy one. 

If your browser supports tabs, you 
could set it to open each of the above 
sites in a separate tab as soon as you 
launch the browser. Better still, you 
could make a single home page that 
automatically fetches the most cur- 
rent information from most of your 
favorite sites. Make that page easy to 
use and accessible from any online 
computer, and you're talking about 
My Yahoo! (my.yahoo.com). 

My Yahoo pulls content from Web 
sites that offer RSS (Really Simple 
Syndication) feeds. Typical RSS feeds 
offer headlines of current news, blog 
entries, and other material. Each 
headline is hyperlinked to an article 
on the originating site. 



We found that My 
Yahoo! displayed just 
fine on the popular 
Firefox and Internet 
Explorer browsers, as 
well as on Mozilla and 
Netscape 8 (using ei- 
ther Firefox's or IE's 
rendering engine). 
Here's how to make a 
page of your own. 

Get Started 

If you haven't al- 
ready signed up for a 
free Yahoo! ID user- 
name and password 
or if your browser isn't set to auto- 
matically supply them when asked, 
my.yahoo.com will take you to a 
sign- in page. Click Sign Up to create 
a new Yahoo! ID or click Sign In to 
enter your existing one. For more de- 
tails on the registration process, flip 
back to the previous article in this 
issue, "Identify Yourself, on page 20. 
After you log in, you're ready to 
start customizing your personal My 
Yahoo! page. Yahoo! offers some 
starter packages of interest, such as 
News, Sports, Money, Health, a Basics 
package, and Entertainment. We 
chose a few by clicking their check- 
boxes and then Create My Page. 

Based on our personal information 
and choices, Yahoo! filled in a long 
page with local weather, world news, 
and odds and ends it thought we 
might like. Some content modules 
were pretty disposable, such as the 
ones with horoscopes and lame jokes. 
Other inclusions were inexplicable, 
such as the Garfield and Doonesbury 



comic strips. (Is there anyone in the 
world who enjoys both?) 

Our page was laid out with a wide, 
horizontal column of modules on the 
left and a narrow stack of vertical 
modules on the right. Some of the 
latter included Weather, Maps, Stock 
Portfolios, and News Photos. Near the 
top was a handy field for Yahoo! 
Search. And when we saw that there 
was even a preview panel for our 
Yahoo! Mail account, we knew we 
were on to something good. 

Change Your Page 

Fortunately, we could change the 
things we didn't like. For example, 
you can banish a module from your 
My Yahoo! page by clicking its X 
button. You can now drag and drop 
modules within their types of columns 
(wide or narrow) in most browsers, a 
recent and welcome change. Some 
things to remember are that you need 
to click the Finished or Done button 
to save most changes you make, and if 
My Yahoo! mutely refuses to make a 
change, it's probably trying to set a 
cookie that your browser or cookie 
blocker is refusing. 

To tweak a module, click its Edit 
button and then select Edit Content 
from the menu that appears. For in- 
stance, you can choose various cities 
you travel to in the Weather box or 
up to three comic strips in the 
Comics module. Click Finished 
when you've made your selections. 
We found that we didn't always re- 
turn to My Yahoo! after making 
changes to some modules, so we 
sometimes had to click the My 
Yahoo! link at the top of the page. 

Certain modules, such as Stock 
Portfolios, deserve some study. Click 
the Edit link next to Quotes. Here you 
can select different stocks, indices, 
and mutual funds to watch. If an item 
isn't listed in the checklist of Example 
Market Indices in Step 2: Ticker 
Symbols, click the Look Up or 
Alphabetical Listing link on the right. 
If you search through Look Up, you'll 



22 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



nside Yahoo! 



need to specify the Type of item, such 
as Mutual Funds. Find the fund, 
index, or stock you want to track, 
such as INTC, and then click Add. 
Note that in the Quotes Edit page, 
you can erase or add stock ticker sym- 
bols directly in the Symbols box, if 
you like. 

Edit. If you want to move a module 
on the My Yahoo! page so you can see 
it without scrolling very far, click its 
Edit button and choose Move Up, 
Move To Top, Move Down, or Move 
To Bottom. There's a quicker way to 
do this in the Change Layout section 
below. And, no, there's no way to 
move the top banner ad to a less 



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Your first step to creating a My Yahoo! page might be to choose a 
starter package of content from among several categories such as 
News, Sports, and Entertainment. 







Add Content is the place to locate RSS feeds from your favorite 
sites and blogs and incorporate them into your My Yahoo! page. 



prominent spot, but ad support keeps 
My Yahoo! free to use. 

The last item on the Edit menu is 
Email This Module, which works 
through an online form and your 
Yahoo! Mail account, if you have 
one. We generally tend to avoid these 
"mail to a friend" forms because we 
don't like giving out our friends' 
email addresses to potential spam- 
mers, but Yahoo! states on the page 
that it doesn't collect or use said ad- 
dresses for any marketing purposes. 
Anyway, the oddly phrased Copy 
Yourself box simply means send a 
copy of the email to your Yahoo! 
Mail account. 

Add Content. Click 
this button at the top 
left of the My Yahoo! 
page to add modules 
of content from Web 
sites that offer RSS 
feeds. If one of your 
favorite sites doesn't 
do RSS yet, email its 
Webmaster and re- 
quest it. 

Type a keyword or 
phrase, such as DVD 
releases, in the Find 
Content field. Yahoo! 
will locate related 
feeds. Click the Add 
button next to any feed 
you want to subscribe 
to. You can preview 
the types of headlines 
in a feed by clicking its 
name or the Preview 
icon next to it. A dia- 
gram on the left will 
show you where the 
new mod-ule will ap- 
pear on your My Ya- 
hoo! page. 

Alternatively, you 
can use the Add RSS 
By URL link just to 
the right of the Find 
Content field, which 
is a more roundabout 
method. Occasionally 
you'll find a Web site 



<**»-r 



you like, and you'll want to add its 
RSS feed to your My Yahoo! page. If 
it has a button labeled + My Yahoo!, 
all you need to do is click it and then 
Add To My Yahoo! to add the feed. 
Other sites may have RSS buttons la- 
beled XML or Atom, depending on 
their types of feeds; Yahoo supports 
these, too. Whatever its label, click 
the RSS button or link. This will 
probably take you to a page of XML 
Web markup language. Copy the 
URL at the top of the page, such as 
news, google. com/nwshp?hl=en&gl=u 
s&output=rss for Google News, by 
right- clicking it and choosing Copy. 
Next, from your My Yahoo! page, 
click Add Content and Add RSS By 
URL. Right-click the URL field, 
choose Paste, and press ENTER to 
add the feed. 

Finally, you can choose a category 
in the Browse By Topic section of the 
Add Content page to find an RSS feed 
you like. For instance, under Yahoo! 
Services, there's a Package Tracker for 
UPS and a few other shipping ser- 
vices, and Voicemail access from 
Yahoo! Mobile. 

Change Layout. By default, My 
Yahoo! has a wide column on the left 
and a narrow one on the right. Click 
the Change Layout link at the top left 
of the page if you want to adjust the 
way the page is arranged. Change 
Layout also gives you a much easier 
way to move content modules up and 
down the page than do their indi- 
vidual Edit menus. Select a module in 
the Wide or Narrow Column lists and 
then use the arrow icons to raise or 
lower it. 

The X icons remove modules, but 
at this writing, there's no corre- 
sponding Add icon in case you make 
a mistake and delete the wrong one. If 
you err, click the My Yahoo! link at 
the top of the page and then Change 
Layout to start over. Change Layout 
won't save your alterations until you 
click Finished, so consider this an 
"undo" workaround. 

You can swap the Wide and Narrow 
columns' positions with the Move 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 23 



Inside Yahoo! 



Column buttons and add a third 
column using the Layout options 
below. You can also change the loca- 
tion of the Yahoo! Search field from the 
top of the page to the bottom, as well as 
tell My Yahoo! how to behave when 
you add or delete content modules. 

The Reading Filter setting at the 
bottom of the page doesn't censor of- 
fensive words, as you might guess. 
Instead, it's an on/off switch for the 
Hide Read Items and Show features 
described below. 

Change Colors. Actually, this link 
(next to Change Layout) might be 
better named Change Themes. You can 
redecorate your My Yahoo! page here 
with colors and patterns in prefabri- 
cated themes such as Hello Kitty or '70s 
Necktie. If you only want to tweak the 
colors of My Yahoo!'s background, 
borders, and text, click Customize 
Theme in the Current Theme box in 
the top left of the Change Colors page. 

Show. The Show menu, at the top 
right of the My Yahoo! page, lets you 
tell My Yahoo! to display recent head- 
lines that have appeared within a cer- 
tain period of time, whether that 
means the last 15 minutes or since the 
beginning of the day. The default set- 
ting is All Items. 

Note that this setting only applies 
to the current session of My Yahoo!. 
If you want to permanently set a 
module to show items from a partic- 
ular time frame, right-click its Edit 
button, click Edit Content, and adjust 
the Display settings. 

Hide Read Items. Check this box if 
you want headlines to disappear after 
you click them. This can really keep 
your My Yahoo! page uncluttered, as 
you'll only see the items you haven't 
read yet. 

My Page/Add New Page. There's so 
much great stuff you can pack into a 
My Yahoo! page, but only so much 
room to view it all without having to 
scroll downward. But hey — you can 
make more than one page with the 
Add New Page link next to Hide Read 
Items. For instance, you might create 
separate My Yahoo! pages for work 



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and relaxation, with 
news and the Package 
Tracker on the first 
and movie times and 
TV listings on the 
second. After you 
create two or more 
pages, the Edit menu 
on each module will 
have Move To (Your 
Other) Page options. 

The Refresh Rate 
menu lets you tell My 
Yahoo! how often to 
update itself with 
fresh content, as avail- 
able. Note that the 
default is Never, so 
you'll see the same 
headlines until you 
revisit the page's URL 
or bookmark or you 
click your browser's 
Refresh button. Odd- 
ly, you won't see the 
Refresh Rate menu 
until you've created at 
least one additional 
page in My Yahoo!. 

My Yahoo! Tricks 

We've just begun to 
scratch the surface of 
what My Yahoo! can 
offer. For example, the 
TV listings let you choose among your 
own cable provider's channels and 
even figure out when a show will air 
again through the Search feature. 

Another trick is to import your 
browser's Bookmarks or Favorites 
into a content module, although this 
can take up a lot of space. Follow your 
browser's directions to export your 
bookmarks to an HTML file. Next, 
after logging in to My Yahoo!, surf 
to bookmarks.yahoo.com. Click 
Import Bookmarks and then the type 
of browser closest to the one you 
use. (Choose Netscape for Firefox, 
Mozilla, and the like.) Browse to the 
HTML file you made and click 
Import Bookmarks. Next, go to My 



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theme behind the Change Colors link. 



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Add New Page not only lets you make different My Yahoo! pages 
for work and play but also set the Refresh Rate of each page. 



Yahoo! and click Add Content. Type 
bookmarks into the Find Content 
field and then Add The Bookmarks 
From Yahoo! Bookmarks module in 
the list that appears. You can collapse 
bookmark folders to save space by 
clicking their triangle- shaped icons. 

The more you explore My Yahoo!, 
the more you find . . . and the better 
your personal page becomes. And if 
you've already been looking for decent 
RSS reader software, consider this: You 
don't have to install anything to use 
My Yahoo!; it's free; and you can ac- 
cess it from anywhere. That's some- 
thing to holler "Yahoo!" about. S3 

by Marty Sems 



24 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 




Inside Yahoo! 



- # . Safe Surfing 

1 J Keeping Kids Safe Is All Relative With Yahoc 



Yahoo! Family Accounts 



Your kids may think they're all 
grown up. However, even if 
they're more tech-sawy than 
the average adult, they aren't ready 
to encounter everything that exists 
online. Yahoo! Family Accounts pro- 
vide a way for parents to protect 
their children and stay involved in 
their online adventures. 

Family Accounts 

Yahoo! prevents anyone under the 
age of 13 from completing registra- 
tion until an adult logs in, verifies the 
child's information, and creates a 
Family Account which links the 
child's account to the adult's. The 
adult must prove her age by providing 
a credit card number. Yahoo! doesn't 
place a charge on the card or main- 
tain the number. It only uses the 
number to verify with your financial 
institution that you are at least 18 
years old. Yahoo! accepts American 
Express, Discover, MasterCard, and 
Visa credit cards as well as debit cards 
with either a MasterCard or Visa logo. 

You can add additional children 
to your Family Account by creat- 
ing additional kids' accounts on 
Yahoo! 's registration page. (See the ar- 
ticle "Identify Yourself on page 20 for 
details.) After you type all of the re- 
quested information in the designated 
fields, Yahoo! will once again prompt 
for an adult to log in, verify the infor- 
mation, and enter a credit or debit 
card number. Yahoo! will then link the 
second child to your Family Account. 

Although you can add multiple 
children to a Family Account, you 
can only have one parent on a 
Yahoo! Family Account. You will 
simply need to decide which parent 



is responsible for overseeing the 
child's Internet usage. If you share 
custody of your child, he may need 
two Yahoo! accounts, one to use at 
each parent's home. 

Stop Right There 

A Yahoo! Family Account won't 
give you complete control over your 
child's online activities, but it will re- 
strict access to some areas of Yahoo!. 
For example, a user younger than 13 
years old cannot use Yahoo! Wallet, 
participate in Yahoo! Auctions, or 
create a Yahoo! public profile. 

A Yahoo! Family Account also pro- 
vides tools for restricting Yahoo! 
usage. For example, you can create a 
personalized Yahoo! Mail Block List to 
prevent messages from certain indi- 
viduals or with certain content from 
arriving in your child's inbox. You can 
also edit a child's Yahoo! Messenger 
Friend List and Ignore List. 

To edit the Mail Block List, sign 
into Yahoo! as your child. Then go to 
Yahoo! Mail. In the upper-right 
corner of the screen, you should see 
an Options link. Click it and then 
click Block Addresses in the Spam 
column. Type the email address you 
want to block in the Enter Email 
Address (Or Domain) To Block field 
and click the Add Block button. 

It is similarly easy to add addresses 
to your child's Yahoo! Messenger 
Friend List and Ignore List. Go to the 
Edit Your Friend List (edit.yahoo.com 
/config/set_buddylist?.src=pg) and 
log in as your child. Type the Yahoo! 
ID of someone you want to add to 
your child's Friend List in the Yahoo! 
ID field in the Add A Friend box. 
Then click the Add Friend button. 



For the best protection, you might 
want to prevent anyone you haven't 
approved from contacting your 
child. To do this, after you launch 
Messenger, click the Messenger 
menu, Preferences, Ignore List, and 
Ignore Anyone Who Is Not On My 
Messenger List. Then click OK. 

You'll find many links to helpful 
resources on the main Family Ac- 
counts page. For example, Yahoo! 
provides information about whom to 
contact if your child encounters in- 
appropriate online content. You'll 
also find privacy tips, consumer- 
advocacy links, and lists of child- 
safety software. This page also has 
tips for choosing a safe Yahoo! ID for 
a child and an online safety pledge 
for your family members to sign. 

In addition to Family Accounts, 
your family may enjoy Yahooligans! 
(yahooligans.yahoo.com), a directory 
of kid-friendly Web sites that also 
includes news articles written for 
kids, daily jokes, kids' horoscopes, 
and polls about topics important to 
children. To learn more about 
Yahooligans!, see the article "For The 
Kids" on page 153. 

Parenting Assistance 

You can't rely on Yahoo! to police 
your children because a child can lie 
about his age (proof of age is only re- 
quired if you create a Family Account), 
and because he can access many things 
online without a Yahoo! account. You 
really need to be an involved parent, 
and Yahoo! 's Family Account is one of 
many tools that can help. S3 

by Kylee Dickey 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 25 



Inside Yahoo! 



Yahoo! Broadens 
utorlts Horizons 

Yahoo! International 




As you've no doubt noticed, the 
U.S. version of Yahoo! is an 
online force to be reckoned 
with, but the search engine-turned- 
portal- turned- media giant doesn't stop 
at the U.S. border. The International 
Yahoo! page (world.yahoo.com), ac- 
cessible from a link in the lower- right 
corner of the Yahoo! home page, pro- 
vides a glimpse of Yahoo!'s truly global 
scope. At press time, there were 31 
Yahoo! sites designed for countries 
outside the United States and non- 
English speakers. Yahoo!'s interna- 
tional focus currently includes North 
and South America, the Asia-Pacific 
region, and Europe. 

Born in the USA. Because the 
United States has such a linguistically 
and culturally diverse populace, 
Yahoo! has created three addition- 
al U.S. sites for foreign language 
speakers, including Chinese (chinese 
.yahoo.com), Russian (ru. yahoo 
.com), and Spanish (espanol. yahoo 
.com). These sites provide some of the 
same content featured on the English- 
language version of the site, such as 
Yahoo! Mail (for international users), 
Finance, My Yahoo!, and links to U.S. 
and world news. 

However, not everything on Ya- 
hoo!'s foreign language pages are 
translated copies of the pages found on 
the English-language version. For in- 
stance, the Russian-language page fea- 
tures news from bbcrussian.com. This 
site prominently displays links to other 
Yahoo! International pages and has 
a specialized Search box with radio 



buttons for searching the Internet, or 
just within Russian Web pages. 

Furthermore, some of the foreign- 
language U.S. sites are much more 
developed than others. The Russian- 
language Yahoo! page is fairly sparse, 
with little more than Russian-language 
versions of Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! 
Messenger, and the Help pages. By 
contrast, the Spanish version of 
Yahoo! 's U.S. site is loaded with pic- 
tures, links, and original content for 
Spanish-speakers. 

Americas 

For our neighbors to the north, 
Yahoo! offers two Canadian pages, an 
English-language version, and an- 
other in French. Like other Yahoo! 
International pages, the Canada pages 
feature radio buttons for searching 
the Internet, or just within the specific 
country and language. You'll find the 
icons for Yahoo!'s Finance, Shopping, 
Mail, and My Yahoo! pages at the top 
of the page. The Canadian Yahoo! 
pages also feature a Photos and Maps 
icon. These pages, like most of the 
Yahoo! International pages, put world 
news front- and- center. 

South-of-the-border users in Mex- 
ico, Argentina, and Brazil all have Ya- 
hoo! pages to call their own. Most of 
the Yahoo! International sites display 
region-specific news, but a few of 
them also display currency informa- 
tion, such as the strength of the local 
currency against the U.S. dollar. 

With regard to entertainment, the 
Central and South American Yahoo! 
sites feature more information about 



musicians, entertainers, and sports 
figures who hail from those regions. 

Asia Pacific 

Yahoo! is one of the most visited 
Internet properties in the world, and 
Asia, with its significant population, 
accounts for no small chunk of that 
traffic. Aside from the main Asia site, 
there are four English-language sites 
that cater to the Philippines, Thai- 
land, Malaysia, and Indonesia. These 
sites have localized directory services, 
advanced Web search capabilities, 
and links to world and regional news. 
Other sites in the Asia-Pacific region 
include Asia, Australia and New 
Zealand, China, Hong Kong, India, 
Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, 
and Taiwan. 

Europe 

Yahoo! 's European presence is key 
to its overseas operations. As a result, 
Yahoo! has a country- specific page for 
each of the major markets, as well as a 
few pages for smaller European coun- 
tries. Users in the UK and Ireland, 
France, Germany, Italy, and Spain all 
enjoy a range of familiar Yahoo! ser- 
vices and resources such as Yahoo! 
Mail, Finance, and Music. The other 
European Yahoo! sites for Catalan, 
Denmark, Greece, Norway, and 
Sweden have access to little more than 
advanced Web search options. 

Wherever You Yahoo! 

Recently, Yahoo! moved to take 
greater control of its stakes in Europe 
and Asia, citing a desire to expand its 
advertising revenues in those fledgling 
markets. Currently, Yahoo!'s overseas 
portals offer common elements and 
roughly the same layout as the U.S. 
versions. As the company continues 
its focus on the international scene, 
we expect to see "Yahoo!" translated 
into even more languages. H 

by Andrew Leibman 



26 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Inform at ion 



Browser's Digest 

Find Your Way Through The Yahoo! Directory 




Directory > Arts > Visual Arts > Painting > Artists > Masters > Va- Gccn, V nccrt ilSbJ-H-:""'' ■> Starry Night, The 

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Jerry Yang and David Filo initially 
created Yahoo! as a fast and easy 
guide to the most useful and in- 
teresting sites on the Web. However, 
the best that the Web had to offer 
circa 1994 was a pittance compared to 
the mammoth information gold- 
mine/trash heap that the Internet is 
today. As a result, the Yahoo! Search 
(www.yahoo.com) and Yahoo! Di- 
rectory (dir.yahoo.com) have evolved 
as two different methods of cataloging 
the Internet. 

The Yahoo! Help page describes the 
Yahoo! Directory as "a subject-based 
guide to Web sites and Web content." 
When you use Yahoo! Search, you're 
effectively scanning the entire Web, 
which consists of billions of pages, 
most of which won't pertain to your 
immediate needs. For more informa- 
tion on Yahoo! Search, see "Using 
Yahoo! Search" on page 31. Alter- 
nately, the Yahoo! Directory is a man- 
made database of Web sites arranged 
into much more intuitive categories 



and subcategories. You'll find the 
Yahoo! Directory useful when you're 
unsure how to describe what you're 
looking for or when you want more 
information on a given subject. 

Brick By Brick 

The Yahoo! Directory differs from 
the Yahoo! Search primarily in that it 
is not an automatic index of the 
whole Internet, but rather a user- 
submitted list of Web sites reviewed 
and approved of by a team of human 
editors, called Yahoo! Surfers. Be- 
sides sifting through numerous user- 
submitted sites on a regular basis, the 
Yahoo! Surfers frequently update the 
Directory to weed out dead links and 
outdated material. Although every site 
in the Directory has been reviewed by 
a real person, Yahoo! also employs a 
few automated processes that help 
with making sure the sites are fresh 
and active. When you perform a 
search using the Yahoo! Directory, 



you won't get nearly as many hits as 
you would if you used Yahoo! Search, 
but the hits you do get are more likely 
to be reliable and relevant. 

Yahoo! 's Directory is the result of 
the active participation from both 
Yahoo! Surfers and users like you. 
This is your chance to give back to 
your fellow Internet wanderers. If you 
stumble across a particularly useful, 
informative, or entertaining Web site, 
or if you've created a gem of your 
own, then you can submit it to the 
Yahoo! Directory to help it get the ex- 
posure it deserves. We'll cover the 
submission process a bit later, but 
first let's go over the basic structure of 
the Yahoo! Directory. 

Getting Around 

Although the Yahoo! Directory only 
catalogs a minute fraction of the 
whole Internet, giving the Web a 
distinctly human touch is no small 
task. The Yahoo! Directory home page 
features 14 top-level categories and 
thousands of subcategories. Other 
items on the main page include a New 
Additions category in the lower-left 
corner and the On The Web, Yahoo! 
Picks, New And Notable Sites, and 
Ask Yahoo! sections. The top of the 
page also features the Yahoo! Search 
box with radio buttons for searching 
the Web or just the Directory. 

Clicking one of the main categories 
from the Yahoo! Directory page 
launches an alphabetical list of the 
Top Categories and Additional Cat- 
egories. Each subcategory name also 
includes either the number of Web 
pages contained within or the "@" 
symbol, which means that the cate- 
gory appears in more than one place 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 27 



Information 



on the Yahoo! Directory. In this way, 
the Yahoo! Directory avoids dupli- 
cating sites, even when a group of sites 
may be appropriate for multiple cate- 
gories. Other symbols you will en- 
counter while browsing the Directory 
include the sunglasses, Pick, and New 
icons. The New icons denote recent 
additions to the Directory. Yahoo! 
Surfers attach the Pick icon to particu- 
larly different, interesting, informative, 
and entertaining sites. Yahoo! Surfers 
award the sunglasses icons to noncom- 
mercial sites that are particularly good 
resources. Each and every noncom- 
mercial site submitted is eligible to re- 
ceive the sunglasses and Pick icons. 

You can navigate through the cate- 
gories and subcategories or use the 
search feature to display a results 
page. The sites listed on this page 
appear in order of popularity and 
relevance by default. Click the Alpha- 
betical link to arrange them from A to 
Z. Of the 14 main categories, the 
Science and Computers And Internet 
categories feature the most subcate- 
gories. According to Yahoo!, the 
number of subcategories and sites 
within each category is typically a re- 
flection of that topic's popularity both 
within the Directory and on the Web 
at large. Yahoo! also makes a con- 
certed effort to populate the Directory 
with sites that are innovative and even 
relatively unknown. 

There are two methods of submit- 
ting a site for consideration: a fee- 
based method for commercial Web 
sites and the standard (free) method 
for noncommercial sites. 

The Legwork 

The first step in submitting a site 
for consideration is to make sure the 
site you want to submit isn't already 
included in the Yahoo! Directory. To 
check the directory, visit www.yahoo 
.com, click Directory from the cate- 
gories listed above the search box, type 
the URL into the search box, and then 
click the Yahoo! Search button. If the 
site you want to submit appears on the 



Yahoo! Directory Tree 



Subcategories 



Categories 



Subcategories 



Arts and Humanities^- 



News and Media 



z i t:: snd Economy (25) 



Recreation and Sports (21) 



The 14 main categories in the Yahoo! Directory feature dozens of subcate- 
gories, which in turn feature dozens more. In short, the Yahoo! Directory's 
categories and subcat- 
egories are far too nu- 
merous to list here. 
Instead, we've mapped 
the main categories 
(middle column) and 
three or four of the 
more popular subcate- 
gories for each (left 
and right columns). 
The numbers in paren- 
theses refer to the 
number of subcate- 
gories within the 
named category. As 
you can see, there are 
thousands of cate- 
gories, some of which 
can contain several 
thousands of pages. 



: : - 


History 


(33.: 


Literature (35) 




B2B 


0s) 


Finance 


(40) 


: 


(59) 


Jobs 


(8) 




Software 


(50; 


Web 


(40) 


Blogs 


[42) 


Games 


[29) 




Colleges 


(15) 


K-12 


(33) 


I \ -. -:e Learning (14) 




Movies 


[45) 


TV Shows 


(46; 


Music 


[61) 


Humor (SB) 




Elections 


0! 


Military 


!24; 


Law- 


(47) 


Taxes 


(10) 




Diseases 


(53; 


Drugs 


(10) 


Fitness 


(16; 


Nutrition !18; 



[40) 



lis :spa|:si's 


[11) 


Radio 


(24) 


Weather 


[12) 




Sports 


(152) 


Travel 


(50; 


Autos 


(57! 


Outdoors 


(65) 




Phone Numi: 
Dictionaries (9) 


Quotes 


(21) 




Countries 


(195) 


Regions 


(14) 


U.S. States 


[51) 




Animals 


(44; 


Astronomy 


(38) 


Earth Scienc 


e (21) 




Languages 


[10) 


- .---:::. 


(33.: 


Psychology 


us; 




Sexuality 


(33) 


Religion 


(55.: 


Food & Drink 


(33.: 




"Y^HOOtSEARCH p 
Yahoo! Directory 



O the Web | the Directory 



Arts & Humanities 
Business & Economy 
Computers & Internet 
Education 
Entertainment 

i.':^-; . ^ . ~z- : ■: . \:.,uz . -,-•'-:• ... 

Government 

Elections . Milita".- . Ls__, Tsx^; ... 

Health 

Cis&ases . Ctuas . Fitness . Nutrition ... 

News & Media 



On the Web: Benjamin Franklin's Hoaxes 

v : ■ ; ' .-... ; - ■ ■ ::-.•.::••■ 

lie ■/.asnt trusted to -..Tits the . Isst he sneak in a joke While a printers 

apprentice at a newspaper, young F 

----- ! Under another Franklin 

produced "Poor Richards Almanack ..hicli gained attention by of a rr.al 

:rrc-.ved from , ible that Franklii 

the story yet another fiction i rnnti- I - -- - - - - 

If he were still s * - ? ■ :uld turn 300 today, but peit : his death in 1790 was 

another hoax If you see an old bald gentleman ith looking smug today check a .. ' and 

see if he looks familiar. 




Suggested Sites: 

. The Hoaxes of i 



■ din - pranks and satires 
■ - --- -i ■- :~ ! - - - - 



by Franklin. 

e to determine whether Franklin really flew the famous 



* ■ esse, or t ie : assumed tc e 

Categories 



Social Science 




Society & Culture 



New Additions 



New Additions via RSS 



.'ti-s Gallery 

"What's happening here? E.ery illustration on this 

! - id - - -----,- --» -|i " nrl ing in a technique 

known as photomontage artist Tom Chambers combines 
unrelated nna-|-: '• - ------ --- - rh.it is grim or 




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The Yahoo! Directory lets you search using the categories on the left side of the 
page or using the search box at the top. 



28 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Information 



"SXHOOl SEARCH 



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When you browse the Directory using the categories and subcategories, a results 
page similar to this one appears. 



results screen, then someone else beat 
you to the punch. 

If no results appear, then your next 
task is to determine your site's cate- 
gory. The categories you may select 
from include Arts And Humanities, 
Business And Economy, Computers 
And Internet, Education, Entertain- 
ment, Government, Health, News 
And Media, Recreation And Sports, 
Reference, Regional, Science, Social 
Science, and Society And Culture. 
Categorizing your site may involve a 
little research on your part, but 
Yahoo! has a list of helpful tips at 
docs.yahoo.com/info/suggest/appro 
priate.html. 

In addition to the top-level cate- 
gory, Yahoo! requires that you desig- 
nate the site's subcategory. For 
instance, if you're submitting a site 
that provides a step-by-step tutorial 
on how to install crown molding, you 
might determine that Reference is the 
most likely category. From the list of 
categories on the left side of the main 



Yahoo! Directory page, click Reference 
to see the current subcategories. As 
you browse you notice that your site 
fits in with the other sites in the How- 
To Guides subcategory. It's important 
that you determine the appropriate 
top-level category and subcategory so 
that Yahoo! can process your submis- 
sion as quickly as possible. 

The next step is to find out whether 
the site you plan to submit is com- 
mercial or noncommercial. Yahoo! 
defines a commercial site as one that 
"sells something, promotes goods and 
services, or promotes a company that 
sells goods and services." If it is a 
commercial site, then it belongs in the 
Business And Economy category. 
Yahoo! also distinguishes regionally 
specific sites, such as a local history 
page, and personal sites, such as your 
own Web page. 

According to the Yahoo!'s Help 
page, the Directory's aim is to reflect 
of the kinds of information you'd 
find on the Internet. As a result, the 



Yahoo! Surfers don't automatically 
decline submissions based on offen- 
sive or inappropriate content. 

How To Submit 

The best way to suggest a site for 
the Yahoo! Directory is to click the 
category from the left side of the main 
page and click the appropriate subcat- 
egory for the site you'd like to submit. 
Here you'll see a list of sites that fit 
the category. If the content of your 
site resembles that of the sites on the 
subcategory page, then you're in the 
right place. To initiate the submission 
process, click Suggest A Site from the 
upper-right corner of this page. The 
next page gives you the option of sub- 
mitting a site using the Yahoo! 
Directory Submit or the Standard 
Consideration. The Standard Consid- 
eration lets you submit noncommer- 
cial sites free of charge, and the 
Yahoo! Directory Submit method lets 
you submit commercial sites for a re- 
curring annual fee of $299. The cost 
to submit sites that include adult con- 
tent or services is $600 annually. 

Whether you're paying or not, 
Yahoo! still reviews the site for suit- 
ability and categorization before the 
site appears in the Directory. Not all 
submissions are accepted, and the fees 
for commercial sites are nonrefund- 
able. If your commercial site is ac- 
cepted, however, you'll have access to 
the Online Account Management 
Center for upgrading your listings, sub- 
mitting additional listings, and making 
changes to existing listings. Paid sub- 
missions are also guaranteed to be ap- 
proved or denied within seven business 
days. The Standard Consideration has 
no time guarantees, and you will get no 
notice if the site was declined. 

If your site is accepted for inclusion 
in the Yahoo! Directory, you'll receive 
an email notification. You should be 
able to find your site in the Yahoo! 
Directory within 48 hours of the email. 

Noncommercial site submission. 
Click Standard Consideration to 
continue with a noncommercial site 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 29 



Information 



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When you search the 
Directory using the search 
box, the results page looks 
very similar to a 
non-Directory search 
performed on Yahoo!. 



submission. The next page verifies 
that your site isn't already in the 
Yahoo! Directory. Type the URL into 
the text box and then click Yahoo! 
Directory Search. If no results come 
back, click the Back button on your 
browser and verify that you've read 
and understand the TOS (Terms of 
Service) by clicking Continue. 

The following page asks for your 
site's Title, URL, Geographic 
Location (if needed), and a brief de- 
scription of the site's contents. This 
page also asks for a Contact Person 
name and a Security Email ID, which 
Yahoo! uses to communicate with 
you. There's also a text box for any 
additional comments that might help 
Yahoo! categorize your site. Click 
Submit to finish. 

Commercial site submission. You 
can access the Yahoo! Directory Sub- 
mit form, designed for commercial 
sites, from the upper-right corner of 
the main Yahoo! Directory page or, if 
you're already browsing through the 
Directory's subcategories, by clicking 
Yahoo! Directory Submit button from 
the left side of the Suggest A Site page. 
If you're a current Yahoo! member, 
you'll be asked to sign in using your 
member ID and password. If you're 
not a member, then click the Sign Up 
link to create an account. 



The first part of the Yahoo! Direct- 
ory Submit form is designed to verify 
that you understand the key parts of 
the TOS and that your site meets the 
submission requirements. All sites 
must support multiple Web browsers; 
feature content in English or offer an 
English language version; remain 
available 24 hours a day, seven days a 
week; contain only working links; and 
not be currently under construction. 
This page also verifies that you under- 
stand that there is no guarantee that 
the submission will appear in the 
Yahoo! Directory, that Yahoo! re- 
serves the right to change your sug- 
gested category as well as move or 
remove your listing at any time, and 
that you agree to be charged the re- 
curring annual fee once your site is 
approved. Click Continue to move to 
the next part of the Yahoo! Directory 
Submit form. 

The Site And Contact Information 
page asks for your site's Title, URL, 
Geographic Location, and content de- 
scription, and your contact informa- 
tion. Click Submit to continue. The 
next page asks for your credit card in- 
formation and billing address. If you 
were attempting to submit a noncom- 
mercial site or don't want to get sad- 
dled with a fee, then now's your 
chance to back out. If you're willing to 



pay the fees, then click Submit. Yahoo! 
will charge your credit card as soon as 
you click the submit button. 

Directory Assistance 

The Yahoo! Directory is a boon for 
both commercial and noncommercial 
Web sites looking to make a splash 
online. Whether you're frustrated 
with your site's lack of traffic or just 
fed up with conventional Internet 
searching, the Yahoo! Directory is 
your logical and reliable guide to the 
best that the Web has to offer. S3 

by Andrew Leibman 

The Yahoo! Directory 
Slotting Process 

The Yahoo! Directory has grown 
over time, but the 14 top-level 
categories haven't changed much. 
According to Aaron Ferstman, a 
Yahoo! spokesperson, the 
Directory's main categories closely 
resemble those originally established 
by Yahoofs founders, Jerry Yang and 
David Filo. Yahoo! frequently re- 
views the existing subcategories to 
make sure they are representative of 
the kinds of information found on 
the Web. Yahoo! also regularly re- 
freshes the Directory's subcategories 
in an effort to make them more rele- 
vant and useful. 

If you want to suggest a new cate- 
gory, then type your recommenda- 
tion in the provided space when you 
fill out the site-submission form. To 
suggest a new category without sub- 
mitting a site, email your suggestion 
to url-support@yahoo-inc.com. 

If Yahoo! posts your submission, 
but you feel it has been miscatego- 
rized, then visit add.yahoo.com/fast 
/change, click the Change Your 
Existing Category checkbox, and 
then click Proceed. This page also 
lets you edit the URL, email, site 
description, and title of your listing 
in the Yahoo! Directory. I 



30 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Information 



Using Yahoo! 
Search 

Find Yawho, Yawhat Yawhere 



Google may get all the head- 
lines, but there's another big 
player among search engines 
in the United States. With more than 
20 billion Web documents, images, and 
multimedia files in its index, Yahoo! 
Search (search.yahoo.com) can supply 
you with tons of relevant results. 

Yahoo! 's proprietary search algo- 
rithm is top secret, like its rivals'. 
However, like Google's PageRank 
technology, Yahoo! Search's results 
ranking formula takes into account 
the number of Web sites that contain 
hyperlinks to a particular page. 

The similarities to the market 
leader are even more apparent on the 
surface. If you get the feeling that 
Yahoo! Search kind of resembles 
Google's home page, we will excuse 
you. Both Yahoo! and MSN (search 
.msn.com) have made their search in- 
terfaces clean and Google-like, right 
down to a search field centered on a 
mostly white background. The linked 
features found right above Yahoo !'s 
field are similar to Google's and 




MSN's lineups, including image, 
news, and price comparison searches. 
Of course, all of the search engines 
eye each other's offerings, and they all 
seem to hurriedly copy anything that 
might one day be successful. 

Even a glimpse at Yahoo! Search's 
top terms in 2005, located at tools 
.search.yahoo.com/top2005, is very 
similar to Google's Zeitgeist. It will 
tell you what people are searching for 
on Yahoo!; now we'll tell you how to 
do your own searches with this inter- 
esting tool. 

Search Types 

Video clips, blog entries, product 
prices, podcasts. Yahoo! can search 
for many different things, but you'll 
need to click one of the links above its 
search field before you type your key- 
word^) in order to find content other 
than regular Web pages and PDFs. 

To illustrate the types of searches at 
your command, we will look for 
the same term, Smart Computing, 
with each one. All of our 
searches were at Yahoo!'s 
default settings, so Safe- 
Search content filtering was 
enabled and occasionally 
reduced the number of re- 
sults we got. Note that after 
you perform one type of 
search, you can run the 
same keywords through an- 
other type of search by 
clicking the Images, Video, 
or other links on one of the 
results pages. 



Web. This is the main type of 
search at search.yahoo.com, and it's 
what you get by default when you type 
a search word or phrase into the field 
and press ENTER or click Search The 
Web. A Web query searches Yahoo!'s 
index for pages containing words 
matching (or very similar to) the ones 
you typed. Yahoo! uses automatic 
"crawler" software called Yahoo! Slurp 
to surf the Web and then index the 
text and certain files it finds. 

Along with search results, Yahoo! 
Search often suggests alternative 
search terms that may be spelled a 
little differently and may lead to more 
information. Sponsored ads geared to 
your keywords surround the "real" 
results along the top, bottom, and 
right side. Webmasters can add a 
Yahoo! Search box to their sites 
by following the instructions at 
search.yahoo.com/info/ysearchbox_in 
troduction.html. 

By default, Yahoo! Search offers 10 
results per page. For more results, 
scroll to the bottom of the page. Click 
a number for the second, third, or 
later pages. (Results are ranked by 
what Yahoo! 's proprietary algorithms 
considers relevance to most users.) 
The Next link and right red arrow 
icon take you to the following page of 
results, and the Prev link and left red 
arrow take you back a page. 

Click the Cached link next to a re- 
sult, and you'll see the page as it was 
captured by Yahoo! Slurp, even if 
the page is no longer "live" on the 
Web at the moment. More From 
This Site may show you additional 
pages with your search terms from 
the same site, which Yahoo! initially 
excluded from the results to save 
space. The Save link lets you book- 
mark a page using Yahoo! 's My Web 
feature, described in the Other Links 
section later in this article. Finally, 
Block also uses My Web to keep you 
from getting a particular result in fu- 
ture searches. 

If you want to limit the results you 
get, such as to solely those from .edu 
domains using the Icelandic language, 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 31 



Information 



Yahoo! Directory vs. Yahoo! Search 

As on eBay, you can search for something through Yahooi's Directory 
categories or Yahoo! Search. By "Search/' we mean the Web search field at 
search.yahoo.com and not a search limited to results from the Directory. I 



Directory 


Search 


Pros 


Cons 


Pros 


Cons 


A real person has 
decided to include 
each site 


Can take a long time 
to find data stored deep 
in forum posts, PDFs, etc. 


Unlimited results; you 
may find good 
information in 
unlikely places 


Unvetted results; result 
quality and relevance 
can vary wildly 


Other categories may 
pique your interest 


All those decisions about 
which categories to click 


Sites added and updated 
regularly and automatically 


Webmasters can use 
devious tricks to boost 
their rankings 


Relevant results 


It may take a while before 
new sites are added 


Immediate results 


Sheer number of results 
can be overwhelming 



click the Advanced Search link. At 
search.yahoo.com/web/advanced, you 
can exclude results that haven't been 
recently updated, limit results to 
PowerPoint PPTs or other file types, 
and so on. Note that your Advanced 
Search settings will only apply to your 
current search. To set more perma- 
nent parameters, use search. yahoo, 
com/preferences. 

Our search for Smart Computing 
took just 0.17 seconds and gave us 
about 18.6 million results. The top 
two links of our search came from 
SmartComputing.com, but the rest 
included computer resellers from 
Malaysia and the Netherlands, and 
even some competing publishers' 
Web pages. All 13 ads on the page — 
which outnumbered the 10 "real" re- 
sults, by the way — linked to magazine 
subscription clearing houses. 

Curious, we enclosed our search 
term in quotation marks and tried 
again. This has the effect of only re- 
porting Web pages that have the word 
Smart right before the word Com- 
puting, rather than any page that has 
both words anywhere in the text, sepa- 
rately or together. "Smart Com- 
puting" turned up far fewer results, 



about 393,000, but Yahooi's top 10 
search results changed only slightly. 

Images. More fun than a Web search 
is an image hunt (images. search. 
yahoo.com). For instance, when your 
grandkids talk about some celebrity 
you've never heard of, a quick Image 
Search for Hilary Duff can put a face to 
that name for you. 

Continuing our tests, we typed 
Smart Computing into the field and 
clicked Search Images. In 0.21 seconds, 
we had 5,144 photos and graphics, 
with 20 to a page. There were no ads 
on the Images results pages. The 
photos were mainly small thumbnails 
of magazine covers from past issues. 
Oddly, the first result actually found 
on SmartComputing.com was 26th in 
Yahooi's list. 

You can tell Yahoo! to filter the re- 
sults with the Show links at the upper 
right. For example, to display only 
images of a certain size, you can click 
Large, Medium, Small, or Wallpaper 
(show only large photos with typical 
monitor aspect ratios, such as those of 
about 640 x 480 pixels or larger). 
Likewise, you can click Color or Black 
& White to further narrow your list. 
We noticed that the Black & White 



criterion does let through color 
photos of items that are actually grey, 
white, black, or beige. 

Video. You can bookmark video 
.search.yahoo.com if you plan to do a 
lot of hunting for clips online. We 
didn't really know what to expect 
when we looked for video clips with 
our search term, Smart Computing. 

As expected, none of our 23 results 
had anything official to do with our 
magazine. After all, we don't produce 
a TV show, even a streaming one. 
Most of the results looked like univer- 
sity student technology demonstra- 
tions of videoconferencing, virtual 
dog interaction, and other geeky stuff. 
Yahoo! found clips for us in MPG, 
AVI, RM, ASX, and MOV formats. 

Clicking the thumbnail of a video 
takes you to a framed page including 
the Web page hosting the file. In the 
top frame, you can click Play Video or 
Mail To Friend. The latter assumes you 
have a Yahoo! email account, however. 

Audio. Looking for the Smothers 
Brothers' "Johnny Appleseed" skit? 
A sound effect of rain on a tin roof? 
A sample of Nat King Cole's "Un- 
forgettable"? Start your quest for audio 
clips at audio.search.yahoo.com. 



32 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Information 



The Preferences link to the right of 
the search blank lets you tell Yahoo! 
whether there's a particular audio 
download service, such as iTunes or 
Rhapsody, that you'd prefer to pa- 
tronize. Near the bottom of the page 
are links that let you give Yahoo! 
feedback on the Audio feature or ex- 
plore the Audio Search board and 
other Yahoo! forums. There's more 
information at audio. search. yahoo, 
com/audio/learnmore about the types 
of clips you might find. 

The main results categories include 
Music, Podcasts, and Other Audio. 
You can filter the listings to report 
only songs, artists, or albums. Click 
More Options if you only want results 
in a particular format, such as MP 3 or 
WMA; short or long clips; clips from 
audio services only or the entire Web; 
and/or tracks from all types of 
records, including EPs and imports, 
or only major releases. 

Smart Computing doesn't produce 
podcasts (yet), and our "Sandhills 
Publishing Greatest Hits" album has 



yet to materialize. Still, our audio 
search for Smart Computing netted 
13 results in the Music category and 
21 results when we clicked the 
Podcasts filter link. Each entry listed 
the number of sites offering the file 
for download, plus a link to a page 
listing those download locations. 

We clicked one of the Music re- 
sults. On the following page, we 
found options to save the page using 
Yahoo!'s My Web feature and another 
Yahoo! Mail-specific Mail To Friend 
link. Each Download Location entry 
listed its audio clip's format (such as 
Real Audio), length (in minutes and 
seconds), size (in KB or MB), and 
quality (in a bar chart). To the right 
of each was a link to the Web page 
hosting the audio file. This is also the 
same type of page you'll see when you 
filter the initial audio search results 
with the Other Audio link. 

The Podcasts filter gives you search 
results with different options. The 
links to these results are more imme- 
diate and launch dialog windows to 



let you open or save the files. To the 
right of most results are icons that let 
you add related XML or My Yahoo! 
feeds to your RSS (Really Simple 
Syndication) reader. 

Directory. Once upon a time, 
Yahoo! was more famous for its 
Directory than it was for any other 
type of search mechanism. Users can 
click categories and subcategories to 
home in on Web pages of interest. If 
you're familiar with eBay's cornu- 
copia of categories, you'll feel com- 
fortable with Yahoo !'s Directory. 

The "Please Direct Your Attention 
To . . ." sidebar in this article explores 
the practical differences between the 
Directory and Yahoo! Web Search. 
For even more information, flip to 
the previous article in this issue. 

Local. Click the Local link at 
search.yahoo.com, and you'll be set to 
find businesses and services near 
a particular geographic location. 
Yahoo! Local is set up to work like the 
Yellow Pages, meaning you can search 
for phrases such as dog grooming or 



Please Direct Your Attention To . . . 

Before keyword search became the most prominent way 
people search the Internet, Yahoo! built the premiere 
category-based search tool: its Directory. (Refer to the pre- 
vious article for more details.) You can locate Web pages by 
clicking categories along the left side of the screen at 
dir.yahoo.com rather than trying to come up with the right 
keywords to find what you're looking for. Result links lead to 
subcategories, site listings, and sponsored results. 

There's also a hybrid approach you can take. You can query 
Yahoofs Directory from a search field at search.yahoo.com/dir, 
in case you prefer the keyword search method but want to 
limit your results to the sites vetted by Yahoo!. 

Yahoofs staff has spent years adding sites of interest and 
new categories, making the Directory a formidable resource. 
To contrast the Directory against the upstart Search field, we 
experimented with a couple of search terms. 

First, we looked up Smart Computing Reference Series 
without quotation marks in Yahoofs search field. The search 
immediately located 1.2 million results. Of the first 10 results, 
three (the first, third, and sixth) linked to Web pages affiliated 
with Smart Computing and its sister publications. Clicking the 
Directory link to search for the same term didn't give us any 
results. However, we did reach the right site in three clicks 




from Yahoofs Directory page. We clicked Computers & 
Internet, Magazines, and then the Smart Computing link in 
the Site Listings. 

Next, we searched for redX, which describes a problem 
that plagues a number of our readers when their browser or 
email clients are set to not display image files. There was only 
one result (the sixth) about the error icon in Yahoo! Search's 
top 10, although there were 152 million results overall. We 
clicked Directory and found the results dramatically slashed 
down to a mere eight, none of which were relevant. 

Moving on to dir.yahoo.com, we clicked Computers & 
Internet and then Technical Guides and Support. There were 
61 results starting on this page, and most of them seemed to 
lead to forums and free, computer-related sites. A few of 
these offered information about the red X icon. One of the 
three Categories at the top of the page, Technical Support 
Services, sounded relevant, although it seemed to lead mostly 
to paid support sources. 

Yahoo! Search will probably be your better bet when you 
know exactly what information you're looking for. However, 
the Directory can help you find many related sites for more 
general topics. I 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 33 



Information 



Indian restaurants. Establishments 
are encouraged to submit their con- 
tact and location details to Yahoo! at 
listings.local.yahoo.com, so they can 
be included in the index. 

Your results will usually be accom- 
panied by a map, which you can 
enlarge by moving your mouse 
pointer over it. Each result will be 
represented on the map with a little 
numbered flag. Click the Printable 
Version link on the right side of the 
page for a printer- friendly hard copy 
of the enlarged map, plus the names, 
addresses, and phone numbers of the 
businesses in the results list. 

You can sort your results by their 
distance from your location, as well as 
alphabetically and by user rating. 
Some will have user reviews at- 
tached to them. Like the reviews on 
Amazon.com, a few of these can really 
help you decide where to spend your 
money. For some of our searches, 
Yahoo! added user recommendations 
and regular Web search results below 
the Yahoo! Local entries. 

Only two of the 10 results for 
Smart Computing on Yahoo! Local 
pointed to our editorial Web sites, 
and we didn't get a map. Amusingly, 
the top result was the biography page 
of a state senator and former Smart 
Computing writer. (A search for our 
company's formal name, Sandhills 
Publishing, gave us a map and decent 
contact information.) 

News. The current headlines and 
the In The News link on the Yahoo! 
Search page take you to Yahoo! News 
(news.yahoo.com). There are also a 
couple of stock index quotes of the 
Dow Jones Industrial Average and the 
NASDAQ, plus a Markets link that 
leads to fmance.yahoo.com. 

You can also click the News link 
above the search field to look for a 
particular topic on most online news 
sources and many blogs. The URL in 
this case is news.search.yahoo.com. 
See "Ripped From Today's Headlines" 
on page 47 for more details. 

Yahoo! News Search found 327 re- 
sults for Smart Computing, although 



we didn't see many that were actually 
related to our magazine. But really, 
when it comes to looking for your 
name in international media, no news 
is good news. 

Shopping. The Shopping link takes 
you to search.yahoo.com/products, a 
page which lets you search Yahoo! 
Shopping (shopping.yahoo.com). Like 
Google's Froogle, Yahoo! Shopping 
can help you compare product prices 
and find reviews, so you can not only 
decide what to buy, but also order it at 
a fair price. 

Depending on a product's probable 
category, you'll see various filters on 
the left to help you narrow your 
results, such as to certain price ranges. 
We also found links to Yahoo! 
Directory categories. 

Most of the 1,158 results for the 
phrase Smart Computing involved 
magazine clearing houses. We clicked 
the checkboxes next to a couple of re- 
sults and then selected the self-ex- 
planatory Compare Side By Side link. 
Here, Yahoo! gave us even more infor- 
mation from each magazine retailer, 
including their discount subscription 
prices and lengths. And 
what super deals we 
found (hint, hint). 

Other links. There 
are a few other inter- 
esting clickables on 
Yahoo! Search's home 
page. At search.yahoo 
.com, click More. Here 
you will find links to 
Yahoo! Maps, Yahoo! 
Desktop Search, and 
many other features 
described elsewhere in 
this issue. Search-spe- 
cific links include 
People Search, Mobile 
Search, Job Search, and 
Travel Search (also 
known as FareChase). 

The My Web link 
offers a signup page 
for the My Web 2.0 
feature, still in beta at 
this writing (myweb2 



.search.yahoo.com). My Web lets you 
"save" Web pages that interest you, so 
you can easily find them again and 
even share and discuss them with other 
users. Another link at the top of the 
page heads to Yahoo! Answers (an 
swers.yahoo.com), a neat forum in 
which you can ask or answer any 
question you like within the Com- 
munity guidelines (answers.yahoo.com 
/info/community_guidelines.php) . 

The Search Is Over 

Many of us use a particular search 
engine every day, but it doesn't occur 
to us to try another one when we 
don't get the results we're looking for. 
And we may notice our pet search 
site's Images, Shopping, and other 
special links, but never give them a 
try. Either excuse is good enough to 
check out Yahoo! Search and its 
variety of features. You might be de- 
lighted by what you find. S3 

by Marty Sems 



Search Engine Popularity 

£ earchenginewatch.com gathered some snapshots 
*J of the state of search engines in July 2005. 
Although the research firms differed in their 
methods and definitions of popularity, it's clear that 
Yahoo! Search is very popular in the field among 
English-speaking Web users. (Sources: comScore 
Media Metrix, Nielsen//NetRatings, Hitwise, 
Searchenginewatch.com.) 1 




comScore 
Media Metrix* 


Nielsen// 
NetRatings** 


Hitwise** 


Google 


36.5% 


46.2% 


43.4%*** 


Yahoo! 


30.5% 


22.5% 


19.7%*** 


MSN 


15.5% 


12.6% 


15.4% 


AOL 


9.9% 


5.4% 


1% 


Others 


7.6% 


13.3% 


20.5% 


* Survey of English speakers 

** Survey of U.S. users 

*** Including image searches 





34 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Information 




My Web 2.0 



It doesn't matter how tidy you 
keep your list of bookmarks, 
eventually you reach a sort of crit- 
ical mass at which point certain Web 
sites become lost. And then there's the 
issue of sharing. Bookmarks on one 
PC aren't available on another. Sure 
you can synchronize your bookmarks 
between multiple PCs, but getting the 
necessary software installed and con- 
figured isn't always easy. 

These days, savvy Web users store 
bookmarks online. My Web 2.0 lets 
Yahoo! users save and "tag" their fa- 
vorite Web sites. Think of a tag as a 
keyword used to describe the site. For 
instance, you might apply the tags 
computers, technology, and trou- 
bleshooting to the Smart Computing 
home page (www.smartcomputing 
.com). Later, you can use tags or My 



The Web Your Way 



Web's search features to find your 
saved link to Smart Computing. 

But My Web 2.0 goes beyond mere 
tagging by letting you share your 
saved pages and tags with others. 
This creates an entirely new way to 
search for content. By creating a 
community of friends and sharing 
your pages with one another, you 
can limit your search to pages shared 
within your community. 

Activating My Web 2.0 

If you don't have a Yahoo! ID, visit 
www.yahoo.com and click Sign Up. 
Provide the requested information 
and be sure to note your Yahoo! ID 
and password. 

To begin using My Web 2.0, sign in 
to Yahoo! and visit myweb2. search 




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Depending on the site you're saving, My Web may suggest certain tags to associate with 
the site. My Web may also suggest tags as you type. Check Store A Copy Of This Page to 
save a current copy of the page on My Web's servers. 



.yahoo.com. Click Sign Up Now to 
begin using My Web 2.0. When you 
sign up, you'll have the opportunity to 
import Internet Explorer and Yahoo! 
Bookmarks. When importing book- 
marks, you'll have the option to create 
tags based on folder names (on our 
test, this resulted in all imported 
bookmarks getting the "imported 
bookmarks" tag, which wasn't very 
helpful), and you can choose to install 
the Yahoo! Toolbar. If you already use 
the toolbar but don't see a My Web 
icon, consider upgrading at this time. 

Tag, You're It 

Saving and tagging pages is as 
simple as saving a bookmark in your 
browser. Yahoo! recommends using 
its Yahoo! Toolbar, but in our opin- 
ion the My Web bookmarklet is every 
bit as easy to use. A bookmarklet is 
similar to a bookmark, but it usually 
appears in your browser's Links or 
Bookmarks toolbar. 

If you haven't already installed the 
toolbar, you can do so by clicking 
Tools in the upper-right corner and 
clicking the Yahoo! Toolbar link near 
the top. Click the Free Download 
button and follow the instructions to 
install the toolbar. If you prefer to use 
the bookmarklet, follow the direc- 
tions under Save Pages With The My 
Web 2.0 Bookmarklet. 

To save a page you're currently vis- 
iting, click the Save To My Web 
bookmarklet or click the My Web 
icon in the Yahoo! Toolbar and select 
Save To My Web. Both options open 
a Save To My Web pop- up window. 
Enter one or more tags in the Tags 
field using a comma to separate mul- 
tiple tags. Yahoo! may occasionally 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 35 



Information 



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Once saved, you can access your saved pages from any location. Click the Edit 
button to edit the tags, notes, or access options for any particular entry. 



suggest tags for a site. Click a tag to 
add it to the tag field. Yahoo! may 
also make additional suggestions as 
you type. Use the arrow keys to high- 
light a suggestion (if more than one 
suggestion is available) and press 
TAB. Include any notes regarding the 
site in the Notes field and select who 
you want to share this entry with (if 
anyone). Check Store A Copy Of This 
Page to save an exact copy of the page 
as it currently appears (helpful if a 
constantly updated Web site contains 
information you want to keep track 
of). Click Save when finished. 

If you use Yahoo! as your search 
engine, you'll also notice a Save link 
appears under each item. You can use 
this link to save results to My Web. 

Friends 

Sharing your saved Web pages 
with friends and family is a key com- 
ponent of My Web 2.0. By inviting 
friends to join you on My Web, you 
can create a like-minded pool of 
community resources. 

To invite a friend to join you, click 
the Invite Contacts link in the upper- 
right corner of any My Web 2.0 page. 
You can invite contacts from Yahoo! 
Messenger, you're online Yahoo! 



Address Book, or Microsoft Outlook 
address book by clicking the proper 
icon. You can also enter an email ad- 
dress directly into the To field. 

Once your friends accept your invi- 
tation, you'll be able to view links 
they've shared under your My Con- 
tacts' Pages (and, likewise, your 
friends will be able to view saved pages 
you've opted to share). To share a 
saved page, click More under My 
Saved Pages or click the Pages tab if 
available and select My Pages on the 
left side of the page. Click the Edit link 
next to the item you want to change 
and select either My Community or 
Everyone under Access. 

You can also view pages other users 
have opted to share with all My Web 
users. At the bottom of your My Web 
2.0 home page, you'll view a list of re- 
cently added Web pages. Click More 
to see additional links. 

Sharing pages with other My Web 
users creates an entirely new way to 
search the Web. You can search for 
pages saved by you and your friends by 
entering a string in the Search field and 
clicking the My Web (Beta) button. 

My Web searches are more focused 
than regular Yahoo! searches. A stan- 
dard search for "digital cameras" re- 
turned about 165 million results 



when we tried it. In My Web the 
number of results depends entirely on 
how many digital camera pages you 
and your friends have saved, which is 
likely much less than 165 million. 
Because any results come from people 
you presumably trust, you may find 
My Web results more compelling. 

Follow The Tag 

Tags are another important way to 
locate previously saved pages or browse 
for new information. You'll see the 
number of tags you've used on your 
My Web 2.0 home page next to My 
Saved Pages. Clicking this link displays 
each tag used. The larger and bolder 
the typeface, the more times you've 
used that tag. To view Web pages that 
contain a specific tag, click the tag. On 
the left side of the page, you may see re- 
lated tags. These are tags that are some- 
times used with the selected tag. 
Clicking a related tag narrows your 
search to sites that include the first tag 
and the selected related tag. 

For example, if you're searching for 
vacation information, you might tag a 
page about Tuscany villas with "vaca- 
tion, Tuscany, villas." We might use 
"vacation, Caribbean, resorts" to tag 
another page on luxury Caribbean re- 
sorts. If we click the vacation tag, 
both pages appear. On the left side of 
the page, you'll see Tuscany, villas, 
Caribbean, and resorts listed under 
related tags. Clicking Tuscany or villas 
will display only the first page, while 
clicking Caribbean or resorts will list 
only the second. 

Your Web 

After trying out My Web, you may 
find yourself using your browser's 
bookmark features less and less. 
There are simply too many advan- 
tages to keeping track of your favorite 
sites online and, better yet, saving and 
tagging a page is just as easy as book- 
marking a page. H 

by Chad Denton 



36 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Information 



The Doctor's In 



Resources At Yahoo! Health 
Keep You Healthy & Informed 




Many of us have at least one 
health condition. Regar- 
dless of whether that con- 
dition is near-sightedness, diabetes, 
migraines, or something else entirely, 
the Internet is a great source of infor- 
mation about your health. Yahoo! 
has a collection of health resources 
called Yahoo! Health (health. ya 
hoo.com) that can help you research 
symptoms and treatments, learn 
about prescription drugs, and even 
meet others who share an interest in 
specific health conditions or topics. 

Timely Topics 

Yahoo! Health has several main 
categories of resources, including 
Healthy Living, Diseases 8c Con- 
ditions, Health News, Groups 8c 
Boards, and a Drug Guide. You'll find 
tabs for each of these areas at the top 
of the Yahoo! Health page. This area 



on Yahoo! also provides you with a 
Medical Encyclopedia; medical arti- 
cles (listed under Our Centers); 
Expert Advice 8c Tips; Pregnancy 8c 
Baby Advice; a Diet Tracker; daily 
recipes; links to health- related Yahoo! 
Groups; Today's Health News; a 
health poll; and Interactive Tools, 
such as a Baby Name Finder and a 
Depression Risk Assessment quiz. 

We'll start by touring each of the 
categories you'll find on the tabs at 
the top of the page. In these sections 
of Yahoo! Health, you'll be able to 
find resources related to specific areas 
of interest. 

Healthy Living. The Healthy Living 
section is an area where you can find 
interesting articles and useful re- 
sources, even if you are in perfect 
health. This is because the Healthy 
Living area has tips for helping you 
improve your diet, get more fit, im- 
prove your love life, and even better 



understand your own personality. At 
the top of the Healthy Living page, 
you'll find the Most Popular Topics. 
For example, when we visited the 
Healthy Living page, the Most Popular 
Topics included Pregnancy And Baby 
(with resources such as the Fertility 
Calculator and Due Date Checker), 
Weight Loss 8c Fitness (with a number 
of fitness and diet blogs, tools such as 
the Calories Burned calculator, and a 
variety of recipes), and Relationships 
8c Sexual Health (with blogs and an 
encyclopedia of related terms). 

The Healthy Living page also has a 
variety of Healthy Living Topics. One 
of the tools most people can use is the 
Recipes area; you can either use the 
Search Recipe field to find a recipe or 
browse for recipes by clicking the 
Browse link. You can browse by 
Course, type of Cuisine, included 
Ingredient, or Special Diet. The 
Course area includes not only recipes 
for Breakfast And Brunch, Dinner, 
Lunch, and Dessert but also for a 
Side Dish, Kid Friendly foods, and 
Healthy Timesavers. You browse by 
Ingredient to find ways to use food 
you have leftover in the fridge. 

The Healthy Living page features 
four blogs. Under Nutrition 8c Weight 
Loss, you'll find a blog by Cheryl 
Koch, R.D., who oversees nutrition at 
John Hopkins Weight Management 
Center. Her blog entries include topics 
such as Stress Eating, Navigating Your 
Workplace Cafeteria, and Cooking 
For A Healthier Heart. Other blogs in- 
clude a Sex 8c Relationships blog by 
advice columnist Deb Levine, a Sexual 
Health blog by Dr. Len DeRogatis of 
the John Hopkins Center for Sexual 
Health and Medicine, and a Yoga blog 
with yoga practitioner Rodney Yee. 

The right side of the Healthy 
Living page has links to Interactive 
Tools. Beneath that, there are links 
to subpages called Healthy Living 
Centers. As of press time, these 
Healthy Living Centers included 
Caregiving, Fitness, Men's Health, 
Nutrition And Food, Oral Care, 
Parenting, Personality, Pregnancy, 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 37 



Information 



Five Hot Areas In Health 

Although you'll find several areas of Yahoo! Health full of 
useful information, there are a few areas that are partic- 
ularly hot right now. 

Pregnancy Center. One of the most complete areas of 
Yahoo! Health is the Pregnancy Center. Here, you'll find arti- 
cles about pregnancy and babies organized into the fol- 
lowing categories: Planning For A Baby, Being Pregnant, Post 
Delivery, and a Baby Gear Guide. Yahoo! has also assembled a 
collection of Related resources, which includes a Parenting 
Center with tips for raising children, information about 
Gestational Diabetes, articles about High Blood Pressure, tips 
to Baby-Proof Your Finances, a New Baby Financial Checklist, 
and the tools to Create A Photo Album with Yahoo! Photos 
or Create A Web Site with Yahoo! GeoCities. For more infor- 
mation about Yahoo! Photos, see "Yahoo! Groups" on page 
100. (Groups is one of the Yahoo! areas that lets members 
post photos in albums.) For more information about cre- 
ating a GeoCities Web site, see "DIY Web Design" on page 98. 

Sleep Disorders Center. This Diseases & Conditions Center 
might not draw a lot of attention to itself because of its name. 
However, even if you don't have a sleep disorder, you can 
benefit from the information available in Yahoofs Sleep 
Disorders Center. Today, few of us get as much sleep as we 
need during the week. Sleep can start to feel like a luxury in- 
stead of a necessity. Yahoo! provides a lot of useful informa- 
tion about sleep, including why we sleep, how much sleep we 
need, how circadian rhythms work, and how scientific studies 
link certain illnesses to sleep deprivation. Under What You 
Can Do, Yahoo! Health gives you tips for more restful sleep. 



Fitness Center. Yahoofs Fitness Center, located in the 
Healthy Living section, is a great place to learn about ways to 
stay fit and healthy. Perhaps you've still kept your New Year's 
resolution to eat better and exercise more, or maybe you are 
trying shape up so you can wear your new swimsuit this 
summer. Either way, there are many tips and resources in the 
Fitness Center. Yahoo! includes an Activity Database to help 
you find healthy activities, such as bicycling, strength 
training, and yoga. The Fitness Center also includes ideas for 
tracking your progress and staying motivated. 

Allergy Center. If you are one of the lucky people who 
doesn't suffer from allergies, you can skip this paragraph. 
However, many of us can relate to the woes of allergy season. 
In Yahoo! Health's Allergy Center, you'll learn how to tell the 
difference between allergies and a cold, get tips for reducing 
allergy-induced misery, find current pollen maps, and read 
about various allergy medications. 

Work/Life Health Center. Most of us work, and most of us 
know the impact that job stress can have on our mood and on 
our health. In the Stress On The Job section of the Work/Life 
Health Center, you'll learn how to recognize burnout and 
learn ways to avoid it. If you feel that you really need a vaca- 
tion, you'll find plenty of validation. Articles in the Work/Life 
Health Center explain the mental and physical benefits to 
taking a break from the office. You will also find links to 
Psychology Today Self Tests to see how much you procrasti- 
nate, how well you cope, or how burned out you are. You can 
also find articles in the Work/Life Health Center that will help 
you communicate better with your boss and coworkers. I 



Relationships, Sexual Health, Skin & 
Beauty, Smoking Cessation, Stress, 
Weight Loss, and Women's Health. 
Each of these Health Centers contains 
related articles. For example, in the 
Stress Health Center, you can read 
about the differences between how 
men and women handle stress. You 
can also read articles about this 
Health Center's main subtopics 
(Stress & Health, Stress On The Job, 
and Stress Relief). 

The bottom of each Health 
Center page also includes a collec- 
tion of the most recent news head- 
lines about the topic. You can click 
the +My Y! button to add the news 
headlines to your My Yahoo! mod- 
ules. For more information about 
My Yahoo!, see "My Yahoo!" on 
page 22 in this issue. 



Diseases & Conditions. The Diseases 
& Conditions area of Yahoo! Health is 
very similar to the Healthy Living area. 
You'll also find important topics at the 
top of the page, followed by a tool 
to search the Encyclopedia, links to 
blogs (Asthma & Allergies, Breast 
Cancer, Cholesterol & Heart Disease, 
Depression & Anxiety, and Diabetes), 
and links to Diseases & Conditions 
Centers, such as Addiction, Back Pain, 
and Chemotherapy. 

The Diseases & Conditions page in- 
cludes another section, however, which 
the Healthy Living page lacks. Under 
Check Your Symptoms, you'll find 
links to information about a variety of 
symptoms you might experience. For 
example, if you are experiencing 
frequent dizziness, you can click 
the Dizziness: Lightheadedness And 



Vertigo link to learn more about the 
conditions which may cause dizziness. 
Follow the instructions on the page to 
assess your own condition and find out 
if or how soon you should seek a doc- 
tor's advice. You may also find some 
tips for managing your symptoms on 
your own. 

Health News. The next tab at the 
top of the Yahoo! Health page is 
Health News. Here, you'll find links to 
many current news articles about 
nutrition, fitness, diseases, disorders, 
medical research, trends in health 
care, and prescription and over-the- 
counter drugs. You can browse the 
headlines on this page, or you can use 
the search field under All Health News 
to search for news stories about a spe- 
cific topic. You can also click the 
names of one of the news providers 



38 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Information 



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Yahoo! Health is just one of many areas of Yahoo! that provides useful information to 
Yahoo! members and visitors. This particular area focuses on medical and wellness issues. 



(ACS News Center, Associated Press, 
Healthday, KidsHealth.org, and 
Reuters) to read the current health-re- 
lated headlines from that news source. 

You can also add feeds about spe- 
cific health topics to an RSS (Really 
Simple Syndication) reader (software 
that collects and displays news head- 
lines from a variety of sources in RSS 
format). If you don't have an RSS 
reader, you can also add these health 
headlines to your My Yahoo! page. A 
list of some of the most popular news 
feeds appears under Top Health News 
RSS. These feeds include topics such as 
Children's Health, Depression, and 
Heart Health. Click the XML button to 
subscribe through an RSS reader. Click 
the +My Y! button to add a module 
with the selected health headlines to 
your My Yahoo! page. There are more 
health- related RSS feeds than appear 
on the main Health News page. To see 
the full list of Health RSS feeds, click 
See All Health RSS Feeds at the bottom 
of the Top Health News RSS box. 

Yahoo! also offers another health 
news service that gives you instant ac- 
cess to the latest headlines, no matter 



where you are. As long as you have ac- 
cess to the Internet or a compatible cell 
phone, you can receive the latest news. 
This service is called Yahoo! Alerts. It is 
still a beta product, which means that 
Yahoo! has not yet completed testing, 
and the product is not yet released to 
the general public or supported by the 
company. If you are interested in 
learning more about Yahoo! Alerts for 
health news, see the "Medical Minders" 
sidebar in this article. 

The Health News page also features 
Daily Tips. These tips include a Food 
Fact, a Fitness Tip Of The Day, and an 
FAQ Of The Day (with questions 
such as "What exactly is considered 
£ red' meat?"). You can read these tips 
on the Health News page, or if you 
prefer, you can click the +My Y! 
button next to a tip to add that daily 
tip to your My Yahoo! page. Read the 
description of the tip on the resulting 
page and then click the Add To My 
Yahoo! button in the upper-right 
corner of the page. Click Back To 
Previous Page when you are finished. 

Groups & Boards. Although you 
can go to Yahoo! Groups (groups. 



yahoo.com) to locate a Yahoo! Group 
or Board about a topic of interest, you 
can also click the Groups & Boards tab 
at the top of the Yahoo! Health page 
to find quick access to health- related 
discussions in Yahoo! Groups and on 
Yahoo! Boards. You can learn more 
about Yahoo! Groups and Boards in 
"Yahoo! Groups" on page 100. By 
using Groups and Boards, you can 
meet others with health concerns sim- 
ilar to yours and share information 
about treatment and ideas for coping. 
You'll find Groups for a variety of 
topics, such as Pregnancy & Birth, 
Diet & Weight Loss, Cancer, Stress 
Management, Alzheimer's Disease, 
Anxiety, and Healthy Cooking. There 
are also many other Group and Board 
categories listed on the Yahoo! Health 
Groups & Boards page. 

Drug Guide. Finally, the last tab on 
the Yahoo! Health page takes you to 
the Drug Guide. If you or your family 
members take prescription drugs, 
you'll likely find the Drug Guide to be 
one of Yahoo! Health's most useful 
resources. Toward the top of the page, 
you'll see a Drug Spotlight news 
article. This will be one of the most 
current drug-related stories of the 
day. You will also find links to Related 
Drugs under the Drug Spotlight story. 
This area of the page also includes 
other current drug-related headlines 
and may feature links to information 
about a specific health topic, such as 
heart disease or diabetes. 

Under the news section, you'll find 
a search field that you can use to lo- 
cate information about a drug. You 
can also browse for drug information 
by clicking one of the letters or num- 
bers listed under the search field next 
to Browse. 

For your convenience the Drug 
Guide page also lists the Top 50 
Drugs, so you can quickly access in- 
formation about the drugs for which 
users most commonly search. To the 
right of the Top 50 Drugs list, Yahoo! 
lists contact information for the 
National Poison Control Hotline 
and the U.S. FDA (Food And Drug 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 39 



Information 



Administration). In this area you'll 
also find links to product recalls, in- 
formation about drug research, and 
tips and warnings for buying pre- 
scriptions online. 

Yahoo! Health Features 

You can also find many of Yahoo! 
Health's resources without clicking the 
tabs at the top of the page. Many of the 
same tools (and many others) are 
available from the main Yahoo! Health 
page. For example, you can browse the 
Medical Encyclopedia and see the 
most health- related news headlines at 
the top of the page. There are links to 
some of the most popular Medical 
Encyclopedia entries, such as Asthma 
and Depression. You can also see a full 
listing of the current news headlines by 
clicking More News under the Today's 
Health News headlines. 

You may remember that the 
Healthy Living tab and the Diseases & 
Conditions tab had lists of Centers 
with information about specific 
topics. You can also access those 
Centers quickly by using the drop- 
down menus under Our Centers on 
the main Yahoo! Health page. Choose 



^^r— — ^— - 



from either the Healthy Living or the 
Diseases & Conditions drop-down 
menu. The Most Popular Centers are 
listed under the drop -down menus for 
even quicker access to these Centers. 

Under Meet Our New Experts, 
you can read blog entries by some of 
the new and most popular health 
bloggers at Yahoo! Health. Click the 
Health Experts link to see a list of all 
of the Health Expert Blogs at Yahoo! 
Health. As we've mentioned before, 
you can easily add one of these blogs 
to your My Yahoo! page by simply 
clicking the +My Y! button next to 
the blog. Then click the Add To My 
Yahoo! button in the upper-right 
corner of the resulting page. To re- 
turn to Yahoo! Health, click Back To 
Previous Page. 

The Yahoo! Health page also has a 
Weight Management tool, which is 
located near the bottom of the page. 
This tool is called the Diet Tracker, 
and it lets you keep track of your 
progress as you work toward your de- 
sired weight. Type the Start Date for 
your diet in the designated field. Also 
type your Start Weight, End Date, and 
End Weight in the appropriate fields 
and then click the Track button. 



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In the Healthy Living section of Yahoo! Health, you can search Yahool's collection of recipes. 



The next time you visit Yahoo! 
Health, you should see a bar graph 
that represents your projected weight 
loss between your Start Date and End 
Date. To track your progress, click the 
Weigh In link under the graph. Type 
the current date in the open field 
under the Date column. Then type 
your current weight in open field 
under the Weight column and click 
the Add Weigh-in button. Click the 
Finished button to record your 
changes and return to Yahoo! Health. 

Under the Diet Tracker graph, you'll 
find a link to Yahool's Weight Loss 
Groups. To the right of those items, 
you'll find a daily recipe, a fitness tip, 
and a link to Yahool's Fitness Groups. 

At the bottom of the page, you'll see 
links to Yahool's various health- related 
Groups. These are the same Groups 
that you'll find by clicking the Groups 
& Boards tab at the top of the page. 

Clinical Trials and Ask The Expert. 
There are two additional ways you 
can actively participate in your own 
health at Yahoo! Health. First, you 
can use Yahoo! Health's Diseases & 
Conditions Centers to find clinical 
trials in which you can participate. 
Such trials are not for everyone, but 
many people are willing to participate 
in exchange for free experimental 
drugs or treatment or for the oppor- 
tunity to aid research. 

If there are any clinical trials listed, 
you will see them on the right side of 
the page for a Diseases & Conditions 
Center. For example, we used the 
Diseases & Conditions drop-down 
menu on the main Yahoo! Health 
page to go to the Diabetes Health 
Center. We saw a small box on the 
right side of the page for The AC- 
CORD Trial (www.accordtrial.org), 
which is open to people with Type 2 
Diabetes who live in Northeastern 
Ohio. The ACCORD Trial's Web site 
is listed, as well as a toll-free number 
to call for more information. 

If you don't want to participate in a 
clinical trial, you can still use Yahoo! 
Health to take an active role in your 
health care. On the left side of each 



40 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Information 



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Both the Healthy Living and Diseases & Conditions sections of Yahoo! Health contain Health Centers 
for specific topics, such as Diabetes, Personality, and Weight Loss. Here, you can see the some of the 
resources available in the Nutrition And Food Health Center. 



Diseases & Conditions Center's page, 
there is a Features & Tools box. Click 
the Ask The Expert link. As of press 
time, Yahoo! Health had a children's 
health expert, a women's health expert, 
and an alternative medicine expert. 
You can click the expert's name to read 
the expert's biography, link to Daily 
Doses (daily tips and facts), or link to 
Q&As (answers to questions submitted 
to the expert by other Yahoo! mem- 
bers). From the expert's page, click the 
Ask A Question link on the left side of 
the page to ask your own question. 

Interactive Tools. Finally, Yahoo! 
Health has a handful of interactive 
tools. The first is a health poll, which 
appears about halfway down the right 
side of the page in the Latest Poll box. 
You can either click the radio button 
for the answer of your choice and 
click Submit My Vote, or you can 
click View Results Without Voting. 

Under the Latest Poll box, you'll 
see a list of Interactive Tools. At press 
time, these include the Baby Name 
Finder, a Weight And Health Risks 
Assessment, two Fitness tools (Target 



Heart Rate and Calories Burned), two 
Pregnancy tools (Due Dates and 
Fertility Calculator), and a Depress- 
ion Risk Assessment. You can also 
click the More Tools link to search for 
other interactive health tools, such 
as the Are You At Risk For A Heart 
Attack questionnaire and the Are You 
Ready To Quit Smoking quiz. 

Each of the Interactive Tools works 
differently. For example, the Baby 
Name Finder tool lets you search for 
baby names. The results may include 
information such as the Meaning, 
Ethnic Backgrounds, Cultural & 
Historical Figures With This Name, 
and Sports & Entertainment Figures 
With This Name. You can then add 
names you like to your my Baby 
Names list, which is divided into a list 
of names for Boys and Girls. Click 
Save [Name] To Your List to add a 
name to the My Baby Names list. You 
can use this tool to keep track of po- 
tential names for your baby. 

Other Interactive Tools, such as the 
Depression Risk Assessment question- 
naire, require that you answer a series 



Medical Minders 

Yahoo! Health presents a lot of 
health news in an organized 
fashion, but you may want to read 
articles about a certain topic imme- 
diately rather than wait until the 
next time you visit Yahoo! Health's 
Health News page. You can create 
Alerts about the medical conditions, 
drugs, or other health-related news 
of your choice. First, go to the 
Yahoo! Health News page and click 
Alerts under the list of RSS (Really 
Simple Syndication) feeds. On the 
Health News Alert page, type the 
subject for which you'd like to re- 
ceive news alerts in the Include field. 
If there are any words you want to 
exclude, type them in the Do Not 
Include field. Select how you'd like 
to receive the Health News Alerts by 
selecting all applicable checkboxes 
(Email, Messenger, and Mobile). If 
you need to create a Messenger ac- 
count or add a mobile device, you'll 
see a link to do so under the 
checkbox. When you are done, click 
the Set Up Alerts button. Then click 
Done. From the Health News Alert 
page, you can edit or delete Alerts 
by clicking the My Alerts tab. 



ert 



of questions to the best of your ability. 
Yahoo! Health will then provide you 
with an analysis of your results. 

Prescription For Personal Power 

Yahoo! Health's many resources 
help you take your health into your 
own hands by providing you with in- 
formation about a variety of medical 
conditions. The site also gives you ideas 
for healthier living by helping you as- 
sess the ways you cope with stress, the 
foods you eat, and the amount you ex- 
ercise. While visiting Yahoo! Health 
may not keep the doctor away, it 
should help you feel more in control of 
your own health. H 

by Kylee Dickey 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 41 



Information 



Yahoo! Finance 

Stocks, Loans & Everything In Between 




Think for a moment about 
your finances. Are they where 
you'd like them to be? Why or 
why not? Two large financial worries 
many Americans share are finding 
ways to pay off debts and save money 
for retirement. Regardless of your fi- 
nancial concerns, one thing is certain: 
You work hard for the money you 
earn and want to maximize its value. 

Our world is full of resources that 
promise to help you make the best use 
of your hard-earned money. But with 
the countless resources available, fig- 
uring out where to turn when you're 
ready for some advice can be tough. 
Yahool's Finance center (finance 
.yahoo.com) is a sort of one-stop 
shop for financial information. Here 
you'll find a variety of services, in- 
cluding portfolio management, online 
bill pay, loan education, information 
on managing an investment portfolio, 
tips regarding retirement planning, 
and more. 



Because Yahoo! Finance offers per- 
sonalized services, you'll need to sign in 
with your Yahoo! ID and password in 
order to fully utilize everything avail- 
able. If you don't have an account with 
Yahoo!, you can create one using the 
Sign Up link located in the upper-left 
corner of the page. 

Find Your Way 

Links to some of the most popular 
Yahoo! Finance features reside near 
the top of the Web page. Here you'll 
find graphical links to areas called 
Mutual Funds, Bill Pay, Banking, 
Loans, Insurance, Planning, and 
Taxes. The main page also displays a 
current Market Summary with quotes 
for the Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 
indices. In the middle of the screen, 
you'll see top news headlines and 
other financial headlines. 

In addition to the graphical links at 
the top of the page, you'll see links 
along the left column of the site. 
Although many of these textual links 
are duplicates from the graphical ones 



listed above, one very important area, 
called Investing, resides only in the 
textual links. 

Investing 

Even though Yahoo! Finance offers 
a variety of resources, it is best known 
for its investment tools and informa- 
tion. In the Investing area, you'll find 
links to sections titled Today's Mar- 
kets, Stock Research, Financial News, 
Industries, Education, Mutual Funds, 
ETFs, Bonds, Options, and Interna- 
tional. Each of these sections has links 
to help you find the information for 
which you are searching. 

If you're new to the world of in- 
vesting, head over to the Education 
section, which consists of four subsec- 
tions. The first subsection, called 
Tools, lets you test your knowledge of 
investments and finance with a va- 
riety of quizzes. The second subsec- 
tion, called Dictionaries, has five 
different dictionaries (Financial, 
Bonds, Insurance, Options, and 
Taxes) to help you make sense out of 
the terms you come across while 
learning the investment ropes. 

The Education section also has two 
class-like subsections, appropriately 
called Investing 101 and Personal 
Finance 101. In each of these subsec- 
tions, you'll find hierarchical links to 
a variety of articles ranging from 
stocks and bonds to loans and real es- 
tate. Perusing through the informa- 
tion in these classes is a great way to 
learn more about each of the topics. 

Portfolio Management 

Yahoo! Finance offers the ability to 
create customized portfolios to track 
every aspect of your investments — 
even gains and losses after transaction 
fees. Because portfolios are specific to 
each user, you must sign in to Yahoo! 
before you can create a portfolio. 
After signing in, click the Customize 
Finance link on the right side of the 
Web page. Next, click Portfolios and 
select Create New Portfolio. You'll 



42 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Information 



then need to choose a type of port- 
folio to suit your needs. The three 
choices are Track A Symbol Watch 
List, Track Your Transaction History, 
and Track Your Current Holdings. 

The Track Your Current Holdings 
portfolio provides a good way to track 
every aspect of your investments. 
After selecting a type of portfolio, 
name it, select an appropriate cur- 
rency, and enter the symbols of each 
of the stocks you want to track. The 
Advanced Features box at the bottom 
of the screen lets you choose which 
items you want to track more closely, 
such as trade dates and commissions. 

After entering all appropriate data 
for your portfolio, click the Continue 
button to proceed to the next screen 
where you can enter other data you 
chose to track. Once you've finished 
entering this information, click 
Finished to view your customized 
portfolio. Now, you'll be able to track 
the status of this portfolio with ease 
by visiting the Yahoo! Finance page. 

Mutual Funds 

If you prefer to take a little, but not 
a lot, of risk with your financial in- 
vestments, the Yahoo! Mutual Funds 
area may be just for you. For anyone 
who is not very familiar with mutual 
funds, the Mutual Funds Education 
section can be quite helpful. Here you 
can find information on topics such 
as Mutual Fund Basics and How To 
Choose A Fund. The Education sec- 
tion also covers Tax Issues to help you 
understand how mutual fund invest- 
ments can affect your tax return. 

Realizing that many people are in- 
terested in mutual funds, Yahoo! also 
provides tools for the more advanced 
user. If you're looking for information 
regarding a specific fund, this area 
provides a search tool to lookup 
quotes and information for any fund 
by symbol or name. On the other 
hand, if you're interested in screening 
funds with specific criteria, use the 
Fund Screener to find a fund based on 
rating, past performance, or holdings. 



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Yahoo! Finance provides a wealth of information to get you on the road to financial success. 



Generally speaking, the point of in- 
vesting in a mutual fund or other in- 
vestment is to increase the value of 
your money. In order to do so, you 
must be able to calculate which fund 
to buy, when to sell, and analyze fee 
structures. Yahoo! offers calculators 
to help with each of these items and 
other calculations in their Mutual 
Fund Calculators section. 

Even though you are ultimately re- 
sponsible for your own financial re- 
sources, sometimes it's helpful to seek 
the advice of experts. In the Tools 
area, you can find information on top 
performers, message boards, and edi- 
torials from Morningstar. 

Bill Pay 

We don't know anyone who enjoys 
paying bills. With Yahoo! Bill Pay, you 
can manage and pay your bills online. 
In doing so, you'll eliminate the need 
to write checks, lick stamps, and drive 
to the post office. Even though Yahoo! 
can't make bill paying fun, it certainly 
does simplify the process. 

With Yahoo! Bill Pay, you can 
schedule one-time and recurring pay- 
ments, such as your monthly mort- 
gage payment. Bill Pay also keeps 
track of when your bills are due to 



help you avoid any late fees. To save a 
few trees and eliminate some of the 
paper mess at home, you can opt to 
receive your bills via email. 

To use Yahoo! Bill Pay, you'll need 
to set up a checking account or mon- 
ey market account with Yahoo!. Once 
an account is set up and you've cre- 
ated payees, you can schedule dis- 
bursements for immediate payment 
or future payment. 

You can make unlimited payments 
to over 100 billers free of charge with 
the Basic Plan. If, however, you want 
the additional flexibility of being able 
to pay anyone just like you can with a 
regular check, the Premium Plan 
comes with a $4.95 monthly fee and 
includes 12 payments per month. 
Additional payments are 40 cents 
apiece. If you're unsure which tier of 
service best suits your needs, you can 
try the Premium Plan at no cost for 
the first three months. 

The idea of giving your checking 
account information to Yahoo! may 
seem a bit scary. To help ease your 
concerns, Yahoo! has taken steps to 
ensure your security, including imple- 
menting SSL (Secure Socket Layer) to 
encrypt your information while trav- 
eling over the Internet. Yahoo! also 
asks all users of their Bill Pay service 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 43 



Information 



^HOOf, FINANCE 



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Retirement Calculators 



CALCULATORS 



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to create a Security Key that will auto- 
matically log a person out after an 
hour to help control access to sensi- 
tive information. 

Banking 

The Banking section of Yahoo! 
Finance displays the national average 
interest rates for a few mortgages. For 
more information regarding a partic- 
ular market or type of loan, click the 
Rates link under the Tools menu. 
Here you'll find rates for Savings 
Deposits, Personal Loans, Auto 
Loans, and Mortgages. 

One cannot manage his money well 
without performing a variety of calcu- 
lations. After all, good money manage- 
ment doesn't come without knowing 
where your money is going. The 
Yahoo! Banking Calculators can help 
you determine loan payment amounts, 
the extent to which credit card rate 
changes will affect your balance, and 
help you determine the best place to 
allocate your money — whether it be 
savings or paying off debts. 

Most people would love to increase 
their present savings, but aren't quite 
sure how to do so. To examine your 
current financial situation, use the 
Yahoo! Savings Finder from the Tools 
menu. With this tool, you can com- 
pare over 200 credit cards and all 



major local and Internet banks to find 
ways to eliminate extra expenses and 
add to your savings. A new credit card 
may help lower your interest rates, or 
a different checking account may pro- 
vide better services with lower fees. 

Whether you're new to money 
management or just trying to find 
smarter ways to handle your money, 
the Banking Education section is sure 
to help. The Bank Accounts & Services 



subsection provides information in 
areas such as Choosing A Checking 
Account, Managing Your Checking 
Account, Choosing A Savings Pro- 
duct, and Managing Your Savings. 

Considering the frequency with 
which people use their credit cards, 
the Managing Credit Cards educa- 
tional subsection is just what you 
need to make sure you're using your 
cards wisely. Online banking is also 
very popular. Use this subsection to 
brush up on what's available to help 
make sure you're taking advantage of 
all the services available. 

Your credit score is a critical num- 
ber in so many ways because it deter- 
mines if, and how much, credit you 
can acquire. Experts recommend 
monitoring your credit report regu- 
larly to help ensure your identity is 
safe. Should you find errors on your 
credit report, Yahoo! has suggestions 
for how to correct them in the Credit 
Ratings subsection. With the number 
of identity theft victims on the rise, 
help protect yourself by practicing safe 
banking. The Banking Safely subsec- 
tion provides information on pro- 
tecting your identity and your money. 



"X&HOOJ FINANCE 



- Yahoo! - 



I0.704.G8 ■ .) 2.248.37 +1.17 (+0.05%) 1.265.27 +3.73 (+0.30%) 

NYSE Volume 666,183,000 Nasdaq Volume 631,177,000 30-Yr Bond 45.60 +0.29 (+0.64%) 

Monday, January 2 i 5 hours. 

- [ ] 

Portfolios [ manage - create ] 

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Portfolio for JJ - SP 500 Portfolio 



Enter symbol(s): e.g. YHOO,*DJI 







Views: Basic - DayWatch - 


Performance fediti - Fundai 


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Symbol 


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AAPL 


10:45am 


76.75 


+0.661 


9,808,446 


1,000 


$76,750.00 


$661.00 


+0.87% 


59.755 


$16,970.00 


+28.39% 


86.75 


33.11 -86.40 


ADBE 


10:45am 


38.10 


-0.33 


1,562,809 


1,000 


$38,100.00 


-$330.00 


-0.86% 


33.325 


$4,750.00 


+14.24% 


40.72 


25.30 - 40.35 


AGN 


10:40am 


112.64 


+0.57 


236,400 


1,000 


$112,640.00 


$570.00 


+0.51 % 


92.63 


$19,985.00 


+21.57% 


100.00 


69.01 - 116.25 


APC 


10:40am 


106.03 


-0.82 


972,700 


1,000 


$106,030.00 


-$820.00 




86.85 


$19,155.00 


+22.05% 


113.40 


63.79-109.91 


BHI 


10:40am 


74.01 


+0.10 


865,900 


1,000 


$74,010.00 


$100.00 


+0.14% 


58.45 


$15,535.00 


+26.57% 


73.80 


41.75-75.15 


EOG 


10:40am 


83.35 


-1.46 


754,400 


1,000 


$83,350.00 


-$1 ,460.00 




61.0125 


$22,312.50 


+36.56% 


81.74 


35.705 - 86.32 


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10:40am 


21.93 


+0.43 


737,700 


1,000 


$21 ,930.00 


$430.00 


+2.00% 


16.59 


$5,315.00 


+31.99% 


22.39 


10.53-22.65 


GILD 


10:45am 


56.25 


-1.307 


1,264,787 


1,000 


$56,250.00 


-11 ,307.00 




45.265 


$10,960.00 


+24.20% 


61.84 


30.39-60.14 


LEH 


10:39am 


136.68 


+1.89 


483,200 


1,000 


$136,680.00 


$1 ,890.00 


+1.40% 


112.18 


$24,474.99 


+21.81% 


132.26 


85.92-138.44 


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10:40am 


47.62 


-0.56 


940,700 


1,000 


$47,620.00 


-$560.00 




37.2525 


$10,342.50 


+27.74% 


50.28 


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44 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Information 



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Loans 

Although interest rates are rising, 
they are still relatively low in compar- 
ison to decades past. The Loans area 
of Yahoo! Finance displays national 
and local loan rates for mortgage, 
home equity, and auto loans. The 
Loans area is a bit different from 
other areas in that it has three pri- 
mary centers called Mortgage, Auto 
Loan, and Credit Reports. Each center 
houses a multitude of information. 

The Mortgage center is further 
broken down into three main sec- 
tions: Calculators, Mortgage Edu- 
cation, and Mortgage Professor. In 
the Calculator section, you can calcu- 
late how much you can afford, 
whether or not to refinance, and 
much more. The Mortgage Education 
section covers a vast amount of infor- 
mation, including tips on buying a 
home, ways to shop for a loan, and 
determining which type of loan is best 
for you. Although we can't all take a 
class on home buying before pur- 
chasing, we can find a wealth of infor- 
mation from the Mortgage Professor. 
Here, you'll find common questions 



and their answers, along with tips for 
avoiding mistakes along the way. 

While buying a car may not be as 
life changing as purchasing a house, 
it's still important to make sure 
you're spending your money as wisely 
as possible. The Auto Loan Tools 
from Yahoo! Finance help you com- 
pare loan rates and calculate loan pay- 
ments. In addition, these tools can 
help you decide whether to take out a 
loan on a car or whether to lease it. 
These tools also help you decide 
whether a new or used car is better for 
your financial situation. 

Because many of us aren't expert 
car buyers, the Auto Education sub- 
section in the Auto Loan center can 
help you learn some of the tips and 
tricks that go along with buying a car. 
You'll also find information on new 
car purchases and comparisons of 
buying versus leasing a car. 

In much the same way as you 
should be educated before purchasing 
a car, everyone should be educated in 
credit basics before obtaining a loan. 
The Credit Education center provides 
the information you need to better 
understand your credit score, privacy 



and fraud issues, how credit and debit 
cards affect your credit history, and 
much more. You'll also find a subsec- 
tion on debt management that can 
help you get on the road to reaching 
your financial goals. 

In addition to the three primary 
centers in the main navigation bar of 
the Loan area, you'll find quick links 
to the mortgage and auto loan calcu- 
lators previously discussed along with 
basic loan education information. 

Insurance 

After you've purchased a home or 
car and found a way to pay for it, it's 
time to think about insurance. The 
Insurance area of Yahoo! Finance of- 
fers two primary centers to help you 
with your auto and life insurance 
needs. This area also provides calcula- 
tors and educational information to 
help you get the best coverage for 
your lifestyle. 

The Auto Insurance Center has two 
basic subsections: Tools and Auto 
Insurance Education. In the tools sub- 
section, you'll find an analyzer to help 
you determine the type of coverage 
you'll need. You'll also find a quiz to 
help you determine if you're doing 
everything you can to save money on 
your car insurance. The Education 
subsection covers the basics of auto 
insurance, including types of coverage, 
and has information about vehicle 
safety and fraud prevention. 

Like the Auto Insurance Center, the 
Life Insurance Center has two primary 
subsections: Calculators and Edu- 
cation. The Calculators subsection will 
help you determine how much life in- 
surance you need, whether to pur- 
chase term or whole life policies, and 
what your return is on a particular 
policy. In the Education subsection, 
you'll learn about the basics of life in- 
surance, types of coverage, and how 
your health and lifestyle can affect 
your insurance rates. 

For quick access to the Auto Cover- 
age Analyzer, Auto Insurance Savings 
Quiz, and Life Insurance calculators, 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 45 



Information 




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there are links from the main Insur- 
ance page. You'll also find links to the 
Insurance Education section, which 
has more information regarding gen- 
eral insurance questions, auto insur- 
ance, and life insurance. 

Planning 

Unless you're born with more 
money than you know what to do 
with, you'll need to do some planning 
in order to reach your financial goals. 
The calculators in the Planning area 
of Yahoo! Finance can help you deter- 
mine if you're saving enough, what it 
will take you to become a millionaire 
at a specified age, and much more. 

In addition, the Planning area has a 
variety of resources for retirement ed- 
ucation, covering everything from the 
basics to 401 (k)s, annuities, pensions, 
IRAs, and Social Security. Each of 
these topics has numerous articles 
from recognized sources, including 
USA Today, BusinessWeek, Kiplinger's, 
and Morningstar. 

Realizing that retirement isn't the 
only thing we need to prepare for in 
advance, Yahoo! also provides infor- 
mation on saving for college and your 
first home in the Planning area. 

Taxes 

While paying taxes isn't exactly what 
we'd call pleasant, it's still important to 
understand your tax situation and what 



Take the confusion out of 
obtaining a loan for your 
next purchase. 



you can do to minimize 
the amount of taxes you 
owe. In the Taxes area, 
you can search articles 
to find specific informa- 
tion from a particular 
source or on a particular 
topic. You can also find 
Federal and State tax 
forms to help you as 
April 15 draws near. 
The Tax Tools sec- 
tion provides Tax Calculators, in- 
cluding a Deduction Finder, tax refund 
estimator, and a withholding calcu- 
lator to help you determine if you're 
withholding the right amount from 
your paycheck. This section also has a 
Tax Prep Checklist from H&R Block 
and a Tax Calendar that will help you 
with tax time organization. Two other 
Tax Tools, the Tax Rates and State Tax 
Profiles tools, provide charts to help 
you better understand both national 
and state- specific tax rates. 

One thing that Yahoo! Finance does 
well is to make sure you're educated in 
any area of Finance that pertains to 
you. The Taxes area is no exception. 
In the Tax Education section, you'll 
find sections titled Tax Basics, Tax 
Tips, Tax Guide For Investors, and 
Tax Glossary to help you find answers 
to your tax questions. 

Choose Your Fate 

Although it may seem daunting, 
taking control of your financial situa- 
tion is one of the best things you can 
do for yourself — both now and in the 
future. The Yahoo! Finance page is a 
good place to start looking for infor- 
mation, tips, advice, and other re- 
sources to help along the way. The 
road to financial security may seem 
long, but there's never a better time to 
start than the present. S 

by Jennifer Johnson 



Five Hot Areas 
In Finance 



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z inance, it 
i to start. 



' ith the wealth of information 
available at Yahoo! Finance, i 
can be hard to know where t 
Here are a few of our favorite areas 
to check out. 

• Financial calculators. While each 
main area of Yahoo! Finance of- 
fers a variety of calculators, one of 
the computations we find most 
intriguing is the What Will It Take 
to Become a Millionaire? calcu- 
lator located in the Planning area. 

• Loan lingo. If you've ever sat 
down with a banker to discuss a 
home mortgage or auto loan, you 
know how quickly the discussion 
can become confusing. Battle 
that confusion using the Loans 
area to determine exactly what 
type of loan you need before ap- 
proaching the bank. 

• Pay my bills. Although the Yahoo! 
Bill Pay center won't actually pro- 
vide the money for your up- 
coming bills, it can take some of 
the time consuming legwork out 
of the process. With this service, 
you'll no longer have to write 
checks, find an envelope, buy 
stamps, or drive to the post office 
to pay a bill. 

• Planning for your future. It's 
never too early, or too late, to 
start planning for your future. 
Whether your goal is to buy a 
house, pay for your kids' college, 
or retire, the Planning area has 
some good advice. 

• Portfolio management. If you've 
ever tried to keep close tabs on 
an investment, you know it can 
be quite a task. With a personal- 
ized portfolio from Yahoo! Fi- 
nance, you can easily see what 
you've gained or lost on any in- 
vestment in a matter of seconds. 



46 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Information 



Ripped From 
Today's Headlines 

From Domestic To Global Events, 
Yahoo! News Keeps You Informed 



The method society uses to 
acquire information about 
current events has evolved 
significantly over the last 100 years. 
The days of waiting for the morning 
news to arrive with a four-pack of 
bottled milk are long gone, but even 
television news, which has long been 
the source of the most up-to-date 
news, has begun to show its age. 

Much of today's earth-shattering 
news debuts on the Internet before it 
reaches the TV or print media. The 
emergence of blogs (short for Web 
logs) as a source of news has yielded 
mixed results. Bloggers have been re- 
sponsible for breaking several stories 
before traditional news outlets arrived 
on the scene, but some also have been 
known to flood the Web with erro- 
neous or incomplete information. 

Yahoo! News (news.yahoo.com) 
strikes a balance between the rapid 
dissemination of information and the 
credibility of reporting. Breaking 
news appears on Yahoo! News from 




major newswires such as the AP, 
Reuters, and AFP, but you can also 
obtain local stories from several met- 
ropolitan areas, such as Charlotte, 
Hartford, and Tucson. Not only does 
the site offer a buffet of news (Sci- 
ence, Entertainment, Politics, etc.), 
but it also presents you with different 
means of acquiring news. 

Headlines Online 

Instead of simply picking a select 
number of sources to cull stories on a 
variety of subjects, Yahoo! News also 
has news from agencies that specialize 
in a certain niche. For example, 
Financial Times and BusinessWeek 
Online are two business news pro- 
viders, and E! Online and the New 
York Post's Page Six are among the 
many entertainment news services 
Yahoo! relies on. For a full listing of 
Yahoo! News' sources, click the Index 
link, which is to the right of the 
tabbed links of news categories. 

Yahoo! also takes a mul- 
timedia approach to pre- 
senting its news with photo 
slideshows and audio/video 
content. Yahoo! News intu- 
itively arranges its photos 
and slideshows in cate- 
gories such as Most View- 
ed, Most Emailed, and 
Most Recommended, along 
with photos from its news 
categories (world, politics, 
sports, and so on.) Click 
the thumbnail (a tinier ver- 
sion of a graphic that takes 



up less space on your screen, letting 
you download more images more 
quickly) or title to view a photo or 
start a slideshow. 

Although Yahoo! News has video 
content from several sources, it uses 
Yahoo! Video to play videos. To view 
the minimum and recommended 
system requirements for Yahoo! 
Video, open a Web browser with an 
active Internet connection and go to 
help.yahoo.com/help/us/news/player/ 
player-07.html. Although you can 
view video with a dial-up Internet 
connection, we strongly recommend 
broadband for a desirable experience. 

Yahoo! News relies on NPR (Na- 
tional Public Radio; www.npr.org) for 
its audio news. To listen to NPR on- 
line, you'll need either RealMedia's 
(www.real.com) RealPlayer or Micro- 
soft's Windows Media Player. 

Editor-in-Chief: You 

By default, the Yahoo! News home 
page is full of stories to satisfy a huge 
appetite for news, but if you have a 
more selective palate, you can cus- 
tomize what stories land on your 
plate. Whether you're partial to poli- 
tics or have a taste for technology, 
customizing your Yahoo! News page 
can help you find information faster. 

On the Yahoo! News home page, 
click Sign In and enter your Yahoo! ID 
and password. When you return to the 
home page, click the Add/Remove 
News Categories link, which is located 
immediately above the Top Stories sec- 
tion. The first tab — Add/Remove News 
Categories — will have checkboxes for 
its primary 12 categories checked by 
default. Click the checkboxes to 
uncheck the categories you don't want 
to appear on Yahoo! News' home page. 

You can also adjust the home page's 
layout. Click the Change Layout tab. 
The Change Layout page will let you 
shuffle the order of the news sections 
on the News home page. For example, 
if you want to move the Most Popular 
section to the News home page, click 
Most Popular from the box in the 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 47 



Information 



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If you don't have time to 
read a lengthy news article, 
Yahoo! News' photos and 
slideshows can tell the story 
with vivid images. 



the Weather page, and 
the Yahoo! News home 
page will reload ac- 
cording to your prefer- 
ences. If you sign out 
of Yahoo! or close your 
browser, you'll have to 
sign in again to access 
your customized Ya- 
hoo! News home page. 



middle of the page and click the Down 
arrow icon to move it lower in the 
order. You can also move sections 
higher on the list so that they appear 
sooner on the home page. (Top 
Stories will remain first by default.) 

Click the Weather tab to add a 
weather forecast on your Yahoo! News 
home page. By default, Yahoo! News 
lets you choose from major cities such 
as Paris or Tokyo, but if you've set up 
your My Yahoo! page, (please see "My 
Yahoo!" on page 22 for more informa- 
tion), you can change these choices. 
Click Edit and Add Cities, enter a ZIP 
code or city in the empty Local 
Weather By City field, and click Find. 
Click the Add button when Yahoo! 
finds the appropriate city. Click 
Finished and the radio button next to 
the city you added. Click Finished on 



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Aside from simply visiting Yahoo! 
News, you can sign up for news ser- 
vices that notify you of breaking sto- 
ries. The News Service section is 
located at the bottom of the home page 
in the right-hand column. You can re- 
ceive news and weather alerts, and if 
you have an RSS (Really Simple Syndi- 
cation) reader, Yahoo! News will de- 
liver stories to you via RSS. 

News alerts. Yahoo! gives you three 
options for setting up news alerts, and 
you can pick any or all of the fol- 
lowing: Breaking News, Keyword 
News, and Daily News Digest. You'll 
receive Breaking News alerts for top 
news stories as they happen. Think of 
Keyword News alerts as searchable 
news alerts: You can make custom 
searches for alerts 
on topics that in- 
terest you. Final- 
ly, the Daily News 
Digest contains 
summaries of ma- 
jor stories in cate- 
gories you choose. 
You can receive all 
three kinds of alerts 
via email or an 



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Yahoo! Local News 
keeps you in the know 
on the current events 
of specific cities. 



SMS-enabled mobile phone; Yahoo! 
IM can receive Breaking News and 
Keyword News alerts. 

To set up alerts, click News Alerts 
on the Yahoo! News home page and 
click the checkboxes to select the alerts 
you want to receive. Click Set Up 
Alerts and fill in the options that cor- 
respond with the alerts. For example, 
if you want to receive Keyword News 
alerts about Pacific Ocean tsunamis in 
your Yahoo! Mail inbox, type Pacific 
Ocean tsunamis in the Include field 
and click to check the Email checkbox. 
Click the Set Up Alerts button and the 
Done button to complete the process. 

Weather alerts. You can receive up 
to four weather forecasts from the 
weather cities listed on your My Yahoo! 
page. Click the checkboxes next to the 
cities you want, select a delivery time 
from the drop-down menus below, 
and click Save Settings and Done. 

News via RSS. RSS is a format 
many Web publishers use to produce 
and distribute news feeds with links, 
headlines, and summaries. You can 
add Yahoo! News RSS feeds to My 
Yahoo!, which is the easiest method if 
you don't have a separate RSS reader. 
On the Yahoo! News front page, click 
the News Via RSS link. You should see 
a number of different news categories. 
Click the My Yahoo! button that cor- 
responds with the news category you 
want to add. On the next page, click 
Add To My Yahoo! and Back To Pre- 
vious Page to add more feeds. 

A Nose For News 

Although you can quickly customize 
the Yahoo! News home page to display 
news that most interests you, avid My 
Yahoo!, Yahoo! Mail, and Yahoo! IM 
users will find that Yahoo! News works 
quite well with each service to hurry 
headlines to you. Just think of using 
Yahoo! News to its fullest extent as de- 
signing your very own newspaper. You 
can read all about whatever you want 
and only what you want. H 

BY VlNCE COGLEY 



48 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Quod 



PING 




Yahoo! 
Shopping 

Find Everything You're Looking For 
Without Leaving Home 



Though many of us still head 
out to Wal-Mart when we 
need to make small pur- 
chases, buying online is becoming a 
popular method for purchasing prac- 
tically anything you can dream of. 
You can now search online stores 
that have locations around the world. 
A few years ago, your only shopping 
options were to go to the local mall 
or mom-and-pop shop. Yahoo! 
Shopping collects as much shopping 
information from as many sites as 
possible and makes this information 
available on its Web site. We put this 
site to the test to see how easy it is to 
use and how much we could save 
using it. Here's a look at the basic of- 
ferings of Yahoo! Shopping. 

The Tabs Have It 

Yahoo!'s Shopping page was de- 
signed to connect users with just 
about any product on the Web. It 
does a nice job of categorizing these 
products to make finding the right 
product easier. Below the Yahoo! 
Shopping banner at the top of the 
page, you'll see a row of tabs that you 
can click to jump to a section that in- 
terests you. 

The most popular shopping sec- 
tions, such as Computers, Clothing, 
and Electronics, have their own tabs 
at the top of the home page, but if 
you want to search for a product that 
doesn't fit into those categories, click 
the More link to the right of the last 



tab for a more in-depth list. You'll 
notice a few of the more popular sub- 
categories under each category. For 
instance, the Tickets category doesn't 
have its own tab on the Shopping 
home page, but it is a category you 
can search with Yahoo! Shopping. 
Underneath the link to the Tickets 
page, you can click a link for the type 
of ticket you want to search for, such 
as Sports or Concerts. If you click 
Sports, you'll go to the Sports Tickets 
section of the Yahoo! Tickets Web 
site. In this section you can search for 
tickets to watch your favorite NFL 
team or NBA team or find passes to 
other major sporting events. 

Learn The Layout 

The layout of Yahoo! Shopping is 
part of the reason why it's such an 
easy place to find what you're shop- 
ping for. Let's take a look at how 
Yahoo! designed this site. 

Let's begin at the top with the 
Search section. The Smurf-blue 
Search section appears just below a 
row of tabs at the top of the page. 
Simply enter a search term in the 
text box and click Search to find a 
particular product. By default, 
Yahoo! will search all of the prod- 
ucts on Yahoo! Shopping, but you 
can use the drop-down menu next 
to the Search text box to specify 
which category you want to search. 
For instance, if you wanted to 
narrow your search to Xbox 360 



games, you should select Electronics 
from the drop-down menu. 

The Popular Categories section, 
highlighted in light blue along the 
left side of the page, is another im- 
portant section in Yahoo! Shopping. 
This section has many of the same 
categories that appear on the tabs at 
the top of the page but also features a 
list of the four or five most popular 
subcategories right below the main 
category title. 

Also located in this light blue sec- 
tion are Yahoo! Shopping's Featured 
Categories, where you can click a link 
of any category in the section to go 
to its home page. Below Featured 
Categories, you can explore the 
Services section, which offers ways for 
you to sign up for credit cards and ex- 
plore real estate, among other tasks. 
The More Ways To Shop category lets 
you shop by brand, store, or by using 
SmartSort or Gift Finder tools to lo- 
cate the perfect present. You can also 
use the links in the Editorial Reviews 
and Gift Centers sections for gift ideas 
and opinions. 

At the heart of the Yahoo! Shop- 
ping home page, you'll see a section 
titled Most Popular Products. This 
section lists some of the most 
searched for items in various cate- 
gories, which changes frequently. 
Click one of tabs at the top of this 
section to view products in the cate- 
gory. Also located in the center 
column of the Yahoo! Shopping 
home page are the My Lists and Most 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 49 



Shopping 



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Use the tabs located at the top of the Yahoo! Shopping home page to easily navigate the Web site. 



Helpful Pick Lists sections. When 
you sign in to the Yahoo! Shopping 
home page, the My Lists section will 
tell you how many items you have 
saved to lists and what items you've 
saved most recently. The Most 
Helpful Pick Lists section has a few 
lists from Shoposphere that users 
voted very helpful. These lists have a 
wide range of topics, including the 
best sci-fi novels, punk rock albums, 
or even museum pieces, but each list 
is full of great ideas for its genre. 

Create A List 

A cool feature of Yahoo! Shopping 
is its ability to keep track of some of 
your favorite items in My Lists. You 
can create numerous lists to keep 
track of gift ideas for others or treats 
for yourself. 

Any product you find should have a 
Save To My Lists drop -down menu. If 
you view search results in the List view, 
this menu will appear below a brief 
product description. If you use Grid 
view, the Save To My Lists drop-down 



menu will appear in the upper-left 
corner of the product's cell. You can 
choose which view you'd like your re- 
sults to be displayed in by clicking ei- 
ther List or Grid in the View section of 
the Yahoo! shopping page located be- 
tween the first set of sponsor results 
and the first nonsponsored product re- 
sult. When you click Save To My Lists, 
a drop-down menu will appear that 
gives you a few options. Click Create A 
New List, which will cause an Explorer 
User Prompt dialog box to pop up. 
Enter a name for your list in the box 
and click OK. Next choose what kind 
of list you want. The Private List option 
makes the list available to your Yahoo! 
account only. The Shared List option 
lets you choose certain people to view 
the list (very helpful for giving loved 
ones birthday or Christmas hints). The 
final type of list is the Pick List. This list 
type is available to everyone who uses 
Yahoo! Shopping. Many users like to 
make "Top 10 . . ." lists such as "Top 
10 Sports Movies." If you think a list is 
particularly well done, you can even 
leave a comment for the author. 



A Worthwhile Experience 

Armed with the knowledge of a 
number of tools Yahoo! Shopping of- 
fers, we decided to make a purchase 
to see if we could get a better deal 
here than what was offered at our 
local shops. Now that spring has 
sprung, we wanted to invest in a pair 
of running shoes, so we could spend a 
little more time outdoors enjoying 
nature while getting in shape. We 
read a few reviews online and decided 
to go with the Asics Speedstar shoe, 
which was available at our local 
sporting goods store for $84.99. 

We entered "Asics Speedstar" in the 
Search text box on the Yahoo! Shop- 
ping home page and then clicked 
Search. Most of the 61 search results 
offered the shoes for around the same 
$84.99 sticker price. Some were a few 
dollars more, and some sold for a 
couple bucks less, but still eclipsed the 
$85 mark with shipping. However, to- 
ward the bottom of the first page we 
noticed one Web site, Tel-a-Runner 
(www.telarun.com), that had the shoes 
for $69.99. Now this was the substan- 
tial savings we had hoped to see! 

To make sure we were looking at 
the best deal, we clicked the Price link 
in the Sort By field above the first line 
of search results. That's when our 
search started to get a little interesting. 
After we clicked Price to sort our re- 
sults from the lowest price to highest, 
we noticed that Yahoo! had removed 
the site that offered our shoes for 
$69.99. When we went re-sorted by 
Top Results, the entry reappeared. We 
didn't see a preferences section in 
Yahoo! Shopping that might' ve given 
us an indication as to why this search 
result would be mentioned when we 
sorted by Top Results but not when 
we sorted by Price, so take heed, when 
you're searching make sure to check 
both options to make sure you're 
viewing the best available prices. 

We placed our order for the shoes 
at www.telarun.com. The shipping 
charges cost us $8.99, so our grand 
total came to $78.98. We ended up 



50 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Shopping 



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saving $6.01 from what we would've 
paid over-the-counter. Though some 
people would shell out the extra cash 
just to avoid waiting the extra few 
days for shipping, we didn't mind the 
wait, even if it only meant saving the 
equivalent of an extra value meal at 
McDonald's. (Because we're starting 
to jog this year, maybe next year we'll 
work on our eating habits.) 

Get The Most Out Of Your Money 

Yahoo! offers some great tools to 
help you keep track of your money 
and make the most of it as well. Check 
out these services to make sure you get 
the biggest bang for your buck. 

Yahoo! Points 

If you aren't afraid to pull out the 
plastic when you shop online, you can 
get Yahoo! Points every time you use 
your Yahoo! Visa card. You earn a 
Yahoo! Point for every dollar you 
spend with your Yahoo! Visa card or 
for every dollar you transfer from bal- 



ances on your other cards to your 
Yahoo! Visa. If you accrue enough of 
these points, you can cash them in for 
cool prizes such as PDAs (personal 
digital assistants), digital camcorders, 
or CDs. Or if you're feeling particu- 
larly generous, you can donate these 
points to charity. For more informa- 
tion on Yahoo! Points, check out the 
article "Yahoo! Points" on page 66. 

Yahoo! Wallet 

Featured in the article "Yahoo! 
Wallet" on page 67, Yahoo! Wallet is a 
free service from Yahoo! that stores 
your credit card numbers and shipping 
and billing information so that you 
don't have to enter these things every 
time you buy something through a 
Yahoo! service, such as Yahoo! Shop- 
ping, Yahoo! Auctions, or Yahoo! 
Travel. It also saves you time if you 
want to access a premium service of- 
fered by Yahoo!, such as Extra Mail 
Storage, GeoCities Plus, and Finance 
Reports. Yahoo! uses industry- standard 
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technology 



to encrypt data transmission and en- 
sure your personal information is safe. 

Yahoo! Local 

If you prefer not to shop online or 
if circumstances prevent you from 
waiting for an item to be shipped, 
Yahoo! can still help. Click Local in 
the blue Y! Services box at the top of 
the Yahoo! home page. 

Yahoo! Local is a great Web site to 
find whatever you need at a location 
close to your residence. At the top of 
the Yahoo! Local home page, you'll 
see a blue box with Search For and 
Location text boxes. Just enter what 
you're looking for in the Search box 
and enter your address in the Location 
text box. You can also simply enter 
your city and state in the Location 
field rather than your entire address. 

If you're fairly new to your town 
or you just want directions that are 
tailored for your residence, enter 
your entire address in the location 
text box. For example, if we were 
looking for a good computer repair 
service close to our home base, we'd 
enter "computer repair" in the 
Search For text box and our street, 
city, and state in the Address text box 
and click Search. By default, Yahoo! 
will display the results by relevance 
to your search terms, but in the 
Sorted By line just above the first 
search result, you can sort the results 
by distance from your locale, in al- 
phabetical order by business name, 
or by user rating, where Yahoo! users 
rate the business on a one- to five- 
star scale based on their experiences 
with local businesses. 

Yahoo! helps you get the most for 
your money by giving you tools you 
can use to pinpoint and keep track of 
the best deals in cyberspace. You can 
also take advantage of other features 
such as Yahoo! Wallet to keep track of 
your funds. The next time you want to 
make your dollar stretch as far as pos- 
sible, check out Yahoo! Shopping. S 

by Sam Evans 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 51 



Shopping 




I Another Man's 
Treasure 

Bid, Buy & Sell With Yahoo! Auctions 



Yahoo! gives the Internet auc- 
tion giant eBay a run for its 
money with its Yahoo! Auc- 
tions (http://auctions.shopping.yahoo 
.com) service. As of June 2005, 
Yahoo! Auctions tossed its fees out 
the window, which means you can 
bid, buy, and even sell without 
forking over an extra dime. Yahoo! 
Auctions is ideal whether you're 
looking for a good deal or just trying 
to make a buck. 

Auctions Home 

The left side of the Yahoo! Auc- 
tions home page features an extensive 
list of auction categories and subcate- 
gories. From here you can quickly 
browse the various auctions. Tabs 
across the top of the page will also 
load some of the more popular pages, 
such as Jewelry & Watches, Sports 
Cards, Clothing, Books & Comics, 
Toys, and Coins & Stamps. If you're 
looking for something specific, type 
your item into the text box at the top 
of the page and click Search. The 
Search box also lets you narrow your 
results by category using a drop -down 
box. There are also sections along the 
right side of the page that include 
links for Getting Started, Recent 
Announcements, Resources, Pre- 
mium Sellers, More Ways To Shop, 
and International Sites. 

The middle column of the Yahoo! 
Auctions page lets you instantly ac- 
cess popular sections of the site, 
such as: Shop Popular Picks, which 
start at 99 cents and feature no re- 
serve; Top Seller Showcase, for items 



sold by users with the most favorable 
ratings; and the Spotlight section, 
which lists popular categories. Links 
for the Yahoo! Auctions Privacy 
Policy, Terms Of Service, Guide- 
lines, and Help pages are at the 
bottom of the page. 

You'll also notice a My Auctions 
link at the top of the page. As we 
went to press, the My Auctions fea- 
ture was still in beta, meaning that 
Yahoo! had yet to release it in its 
final form. The purpose of the My 
Auctions page is to give you a sum- 
mary of the items you added to your 
Watchlist, as well as your recent 
Bidding, Won, Lost, Selling, Sold, 
and Not Sold activity. 

Registration 

If you're looking to bid or sell 
using Yahoo! Auctions, the first thing 
you'll need to do is register an ac- 
count. You can accomplish this by 
following the prompts that appear 
the first time you bid or from the 
main Yahoo! Auctions page. 

To register from the Yahoo! Auc- 
tions home page, click the Sign Up! 
link in the Getting Started section in 
the upper-right corner of the home 
page. Next, click the Register And 
Sign In button. If you don't have a 
Yahoo! ID, click the Sign Up link in 
the lower-right corner of this page. If 
you already have a Yahoo! ID and 
password, enter them now and click 
Sign In. Next, click the Continue To 
Verify Your User Information button. 
On the following page, enter your 
name, address, phone number, date 



of birth, and driver's license or social 
security number. Click Submit to 
continue. Carefully read the Yahoo! 
Auctions Terms Of Service and then 
click I Accept to continue. 



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The Yahoo! Auctions page lets you search for 
items using the categories to the left or the 
Search box at the top of the page. 



52 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Shopping 



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Bid & Buy 

If you've ever purchased anything 
online, then you'll probably find the 
Yahoo! Auctions interface familiar. 
The first step in bidding is by far the 
easiest: Find something you'd like to 
bid on. Yahoo! Auctions has every- 
thing from sportswear to sports cars, 
so start by clicking a category from the 
left side of the main page or by typing 
keywords into the search box at the 
top of the page and pressing Search. 

The Category Search Results and 
Search Results pages both have a sim- 
ilar layout. At the top of the page, you'll 
find a handful of Sponsor Results, 
which are paid advertisements that will 
take you from the Yahoo! Auctions 
page if you click them. Scan down the 
middle column for the list of Yahoo! 
Auction items that match your search. 
Each result consists of a hyperlinked 
description of the item, a notation 
identifying whether or not it has a re- 
serve price, a hyperlinked seller's name 
and the seller's rating, the current 
highest bid, a Buy Price (if available), 
and the amount of time left until 
the auction ends. Yahoo! displays the 
time left in the auction with different 
colored text. Auctions ending in less 
than 30 minutes appear in red text, 
auctions with between 30 minutes and 
an hour left appear in orange, and auc- 
tions ending in less than 24 hours ap- 
pear in yellow. Most items include 
photos, which appear to the left of the 
item description. 



Registering with 
Yahoo! Auctions is 
quick and easy. 



By default, Yahoo! 
Auctions lists the re- 
sults by the amount 
of time remaining in 
the auction, with the 
auctions closing the 
soonest appearing at 
the top of the page. 
If you want to sort 
the items in another 
way, click Price to 
organize the list from the least expen- 
sive item to the most expensive item, 
click Bids to show items with the 
most bids, and click Seller Rating to 
see items for sale from the highest- 
rated sellers. You can reverse the 
order by clicking any of the sorting 
links a second time. The left side of 
the page features a Refine Results box, 
which lets you narrow your results by 
choosing subcategories, entering key- 
words, preferred prices, or distances. 
The Narrow By section of the Refine 
Results area has links you can click to 
narrow your results to auctions with 
photos or no reserve or that have a 
Buy Price. You can also browse auc- 
tions listed today and auctions that 
have already closed. 

When you find that must-have 
doodad, click the hyperlinked descrip- 
tion to see the item page. Here you'll 
find further details about the item 
you're interested in, such as the item's 
description, condition, location, and 
shipping price, which 
covers everything 
from packaging to 
postage. The shipping 
price is in addition to 
the bid price or Buy 
Price, so always make 
sure to take it into ac- 



count when figuring out how much to 
bid. Other useful links on the item 
page include Comments About Seller 
and Ask Seller A Ques-tion. The latter 
link opens a new page that lets you 
email questions to the seller regarding 
the item you're interested in pur- 
chasing. 

If everything in the description ap- 
pears OK and you're still interested in 
placing a bid, click the number in 
parentheses that appears after the sell- 
er's name in the Seller Info section to 
the left. The Auctions Profile page 
features tabs that let you review the 
seller's Rating, Live Auctions, Closed 
Auctions, and About Me pages. The 
Ratings tab appears by default. The 
upper-left corner of this page displays 
the seller's comments. A sun icon rep- 
resents favorable comments, and a 
rain cloud represents unfavorable 
comments. Look for a high number 
of favorable comments and very few, 
if any, unfavorable comments. Below 
the comments ratio, you can read the 
most recent comments left by pre- 
vious customers. 

Take the plunge. Back on the item 
page, look to the right side of the page 
to bid or use the Buy Price option to 
purchase the item now. The Place A 
Bid box shows you the Minimum Bid, 
which is determined by either the 
highest current bidder or the seller. 
Enter your bid amount in the text box 
marked with a dollar sign and click 
the radio buttons to Bid Up To This 
Amount On My Behalf or Bid This 
Exact Amount. The former option 



The Item Page includes in- 
formation such as 
condition, shipping costs, 
and accepted payment 
methods. 



^AHOO' SHOPPING * 



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■■ i 



l**!*- I 




Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 53 



Shopping 



monitors the bidding and automati- 
cally bids every time someone else 
outbids you. The Bid This Exact 
Amount option displays your highest 
bid right away. Click the Preview Bid 
button to see the bid confirmation 
screen. Click Place This Bid to con- 
tinue or Cancel to back out. Check 
back frequently to see the auction's 
status or set up your Notification 
Options by clicking the link at the 
lower-left corner of your My Auctions 
page. You can get messages via email 
or Yahoo! Messenger. 

Peddle Your Wares 

You may be surprised by how 
simple it is to start selling with 
Yahoo! Auctions, whether you've 
been bitten by the entrepreneurial 
bug or just want to clean out your 
garage. Without listing fees, what 
have you got to lose? 

The quickest way to get started as a 
seller on Yahoo! Auctions is to click 
the Sell Stuff link in the upper-right 
corner of any Yahoo! Auctions page. 
The next step is to determine the cate- 
gory for the item you want to sell. 
Click one of the main categories from 
box number one, click any relevant 



subcategories, and then click Con- 
tinue to start the submission process. 
The Submitting An Item page lets you 
upload as many as three photos and 
enter the item's title, condition, de- 
scription, base price, length of auc- 
tion, and shipping details. This page 
also lets you set other options, such 
as a Buy Price, Reserve Price, and the 
auction start time and end time. 
Select your accepted payment meth- 
ods, such as PayPal, personal checks, 
cashiers checks, money orders, credit 
cards, or escrow services. Read the 
disclaimer and click Continue to dis- 
play the Item Page. 

Review your Item Page for accuracy. 
If you need to edit your Item Page, 
click the Edit Auction Info button and 
make the necessary changes. If your 
Item Page looks good, then click the 
Submit Auction button. If you notice 
mistakes or would like to update the 
item description after you've sub- 
mitted the auction, you can still do so 
by visiting your My Auctions page. 
Click the hyperlinked item title from 
your Selling Activity list to load the 
Item Page. The upper-right corner of 
the page features a You Are The Seller 
box, which lets you perform several 
functions, including Cancel This 



Auction, Close This Auction, Cancel A 
Bid, Change The Title/Description, 
and Edit This Auction. 

As a seller, you can take advantage 
of a few more options on your My 
Auctions page. Links in the lower-left 
corner let you customize the email 
that goes to bidders who win your 
auctions. Sellers can also take advan- 
tage of Yahoo!'s Bulk Loader, which 
lets you more easily launch multiple 
auctions. If you're serious about 
selling, then download the Yahoo! 
Seller's Manager to create and manage 
your auctions online or offline. 

Cleaning up. When your auction 
ends, contact the winner to discuss 
the terms. To find the seller's email 
address, click My Auctions from any 
Yahoo! Auctions page, click the closed 
auction in question, and then scroll to 
the bottom of the page. Include the 
winning bid price, shipping costs, 
your address, and details about your 
payment and shipping policies. When 
you receive payment, promptly pack 
up the item and send it off. Congrat- 
ulations, you're officially a Yahoo! 
Auctions seller. S 

by Andrew Leibman 



Buying & Selling Tips 

Buying and selling with Yahoo! Auctions is easy enough 
that anyone can quickly set up an account and get 
started. Due to the lack of one-on-one interaction, how- 
ever, problems may arise if you're not cautious. Follow 
these simple buying and selling tips to get the most out of 
the experience. 

Buyers: 

Be prompt. Keep track of the auctions you're bidding on 
and send payment as soon as you're declared the winner. 

Be serious. Don't bid if you're not willing to buy. Yahoo! will 
send you a warning the first and second times you win an auc- 
tion and renege on your obligation. Yahoo! will suspend your 
Yahoo! ID for 30 days if you back out a third time, and a fourth 
offense results in an indefinite suspension of your Yahoo! ID. 

Be cooperative. If you feel you've been misled or wronged 
in some way when participating in an auction, take it up with 
the seller in a calm and amiable fashion. Sellers get the last 



word with regard to feedback, so give them every opportu- 
nity to right the situation before leaving negative feedback. 

Sellers: 

Be patient. If you're having a hard time selling when you 
first start out, give it some time. Bidders may be turned off by 
your low (or non-existent) rating, but you'll find that bidders 
are more apt to do business with you as you build a reputa- 
tion, and your favorable ratings increase. 

Sell cheap. Try to avoid setting a reserve price or starting 
price too high. If you start low, more buyers will bid, which 
raises the probability that you'll make out like a bandit. 

Show respect. Every bidder is a potential buyer, and every 
buyer gets to leave you feedback. Respond quickly to bid- 
ders' questions and send items to auction winners as soon as 
possible. If something goes wrong, even if it's the bidder/ 
buyer's fault, do your best to resolve the issue and avoid the 
negative comment. I 



54 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Shopping 



Yahoo! Autos 



A Pit Stop Before You Shop 



As automotive information sites 
go, Yahoo! Autos (autos.yahoo 
.com) is as rich as a decent 
wrecking yard, yet as inviting as a well- 
run showroom. If you're thinking 
about buying a new or used car any- 
time soon, park a spell here first. 

There's a lot to see at Yahoo! Autos, 
so we'll stick to the highlights in this 
overview of the site. At the same time, 
there's plenty of overlap, meaning that 
you'll see some of the same features 
over and over as you nose around the 
site. Each of the following sections cor- 
responds to a tab near the top of each 
page, starting with the Home tab. 

Home 

This tab has a little bit of everything 
for anyone researching her next car. If 
you're interested in particular makes 
and models, start your search in the 
New Cars and User Cars boxes. For ex- 
ample, in the New Cars section, select 
Honda in the Make menu and '06 
Element in the Model field. If you'd 
rather check out what's available in a 
certain type of car, such as those hy- 
brids you've been seeing around town, 
try the Category menu below. 




The Used Cars section lets you find 
ads for cars in your area. There's also a 
Sell Your Car On Yahoo! Autos link to 
a page where you can place an online 
ad and a Kelley Blue Book Pricing link 
to a calculator that can help you figure 
out how much your vehicle is worth. 
Follow the link in the Certified Pre- 
Owned Cars box if you'd like to see the 
terms and conditions of different man- 
ufacturers' CPO programs. 

The Get Price Quotes section lets 
you peruse new car deals in your area. 
Farther down the page, you'll see 
news and reviews of new models, as 
well as listings of the most popular ve- 
hicles in a couple of rotating cate- 
gories. Some of the articles we found 
included "Fuel Conservation Tips" 
and "Best Used Cars Under $15,000." 

Finally, the Resources section in the 
lower third of the page is a grab bag of 
links to other parts of the Yahoo! Autos 
site. You can jump to reliability ratings 
from J. D. Power (www.jdpower.com), 
free and pay reviews from Consumer 
Reports (www.consumerreports.org), 
and a free check of a VIN (vehicle iden- 
tification number) through AutoCheck 
.com. We couldn't use some features' 
drop-down menus in Mozilla-based 
browsers such as Firefox and 
Seamonkey, although they 
worked in Internet Explorer. 

New Cars 

Much of the content on the 
first page of the New Cars tab is 
accessible from the Home tab, 
but it's a little easier to navigate 
here. Car makes, categories, 
and prices are laid out in tables 
instead of in drop-down menus. 
The New Car Model Showroom 
and New Model Showcase just 



below these let you ogle without 
salesmen bothering you. 

Halfway down the page are quick 
links to a few of the most popular fea- 
ture comparisons between models. 
(There are a lot more under the 
Compare Cars link, described below.) 
These popularity contests not only let 
you know which cars, SUVs, and 
trucks are catching other car buyers' 
eyes, but also indicate which vehicle is 
probably the better deal. 

The Getting Started area can help 
you figure out what type of car you're 
looking for through the Auto Advisor's 
feature menus (www.myproductad 
visor.com/mpa/auto/inputSummary 
.do) and interior and exterior photos. 
There are also 360-degree virtual tours, 
but we found that these don't cover 
every single configuration. For in- 
stance, we chose an SUV with a manual 
transmission, but the interior views 
showed an automatic shifter. The 
Rebates and Incentives link can tell you 
whether there are any special deals on a 
particular car before you hit the lots. 

The subtabs under the New Cars 
tab include: 

Buy A Car. Along with local dealer 
quotes and comparison generators, 
this subtab has a Calculate Payments 
link that can help you plan financing. 

Latest Models. Check out color 
photos of new and redesigned autos 
in 10 categories. 

Most Popular. Instead of a mere 
two categories as found on Yahoo! 
Autos' home page, the Most Popular 
subtab presents 11 lists of the top 10 
hottest vehicles of the week. From 
luxury sedans to trucks and vans, this 
is where you'll find out what's going 
to be sharing the road with you. 

Compare Cars. Scroll down for an 
expanded list of popular compar- 
isons, including the Ford Mustang GT 
Premium Coupe versus the Dodge 
Charger RT. 

Build A Car. Like most auto manu- 
facturers' sites, Yahoo! Autos lets you 
build a virtual car from the options 
available. Click the Build A Car 
subtab to start the process. 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 55 



Shopping 



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Your road to a new car should begin at Yahoo! Autos. 



Future Cars. These sneak peeks in- 
clude photos, expected shipping pe- 
riods, and estimated prices. 

Used Cars 

It's tougher to buy a used car than a 
new one, even though your wallet 
might say the opposite. You'll have to 
consider questions that don't come up 
with a new vehicle. For one, how well 
did the previous owner treat the car? 
For another, did he have any fender 
benders? How much warranty is left? Is 
100,000 miles on the odometer as wor- 
risome as it was in cars 20 years ago? 
And which parts seem fine now, but 
are troublesome in particular models? 

Thankfully, Yahoo! is here to help 
with the Used Cars tab. Most of the 
features on the tab's home page lead to 
sub tabs, so we'll jump right into those. 

Find A Car. The Quick Search fea- 
ture on the Find A Car subtab, pro- 
vided by AutoTrader, lets you shop 
for specific cars among dealerships 
near your ZIP code. If you'd rather 
search by state and city, scroll to the 
bottom of the page and click Browse 
Used Cars By Location. 



Toward the middle of the page, we 
found articles with plenty of buying 
and selling advice from Consumer 
Reports and other sources. One of 
our perennial favorites here is the 
Used Cars: Best & Worst article. 

Sell Your Car. Here, you can adver- 
tise a car you want to sell. Prices range 
from $24.95 to $34.95. You can also 
get here by clicking the Post An Ad 
link on the Used Cars tab's home page. 

Blue Book Pricing. Kelley's Blue 
Book is indispensable whether you're 
buying or selling. This value calcu- 
lator helps you figure out what a car is 
worth between private individuals, as 
a trade-in, or at retail on a lot. Yeah, 
those prices are all different. 

Certified Pre-Owned. Thorough 
inspections and warranty coverage 
make certified pre- owned cars worth 
a little more money to many buyers. 
Manufacturers vary in the terms of 
their CPO programs, but you can 
compare them at a glance at used- 
cars. autos.yahoo.com/carcenter/cpo 
center/index.html. Yahoo! throws in 
a handful of relevant articles, al- 
though some are from the not-quite- 
disinterested-party Lexus. 



Reviews. ConsumerGuide Auto 
motive (auto.consumerguide.com) 
provides moderately detailed reviews 
for most car models under the Reviews 
subtab. We once again had to resort to 
Internet Explorer to get the menus to 
work correctly. 

A couple of nice touches in the re- 
views include replacement costs of 
common parts such as brakes and al- 
ternators, along with notes about fac- 
tory changes and fixes incorporated 
into recent model years. On the other 
hand, we found that some popular ve- 
hicles hadn't been reviewed in as 
many as five years. 

Vehicle History Records. Yahoo !'s 
partner AutoCheck provides limited 
VIN lookups. Type in the ID number 
from a 1981 or newer car and you'll get 
information such as the car's mileage 
and titling history and special brand- 
ings such as a Salvage designation. A 
more detailed report will cost you. 

Tips & Advice. These helpful arti- 
cles cover buying and selling, war- 
ranty issues, maintenance, and other 
automotive topics. 

Research 

The Research tab provides a central 
location for features found elsewhere 
on the Yahoo! Autos site. You'll find 
reviews (from both professional 
writers and individual users), com- 
parison tools, vehicle photos, and fi- 
nancial resources all in one place. 

Finance 

Speaking of financial resources, click 
the Finance tab for payment calculators 
and auto loan interest rates. Note that 
the Lock In A Low Rate Today section 
takes you offsite to loan applications 
from a couple of partner companies. 

There's also a link to get a free credit 
report from Experian (www.experian 
.com). However, we should point out 
that U. S. citizens are already entitled 
by law to one free credit report per 
year, and www.annualcreditreport.com 
is the only online source authorized by 



56 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Shopping 



. . . ■. . . .-,.... 



W -r 




The Auto Advisor link under the New Cars tab takes you offsite to help you determine 
what kind of vehicle best suits your wants and needs. 



the Federal Trade Commission. If 
you'd rather accept Experian's offer, 
you'll also be signing up for its 
CreditCheck Monitoring service for 
$9.95 per month after a 30-day free 
trial, so read the fine print. 

The Finance Calculators subtab 
takes you to the same loan and lease 
worksheets as the Calculate Payments 
button on the Finance tab's home page. 
The Credit Center subtab has some 
useful articles under Credit Education, 
plus a Credit Analyzer link that lets you 
estimate your credit. 

Car Insurance 

There are more commercial pitches 
for Yahoo! 's partners under the Car 
Insurance tab, though you can get pre- 
mium quotes from a couple of sources. 
Scroll down for interesting articles on 
how much insurance you need and a 
glossary of terms you'll encounter. 

Maintain 

The Maintain tab introduces new 
drivers to many of the maintenance is- 
sues car owners should know about. It 



also gives do-it-yourselfers informa- 
tion on the skills and procedures 
needed for common repairs. Some as- 
sertions here are a little dubious, such 
as, "Most vehicle manufacturers rec- 
ommend changing the oil once a year 
or every 7,500 miles in passenger car 
and light truck gasoline engines." 

The Maintain tab's subtabs — 
Warranty, Inspection Center, and 
Repair Tips & Advice — simply go to 
the same pages as the links featured 
prominently on the tab's home page. 
There's also a link to car manufac- 
turer contact info at www.consumer 
action.gov/pdfs/CarListings.pdf. 

My Auto Center 

This tab keeps a list of the vehicles 
you've "built" using Yahoo! Autos' 
Build A Car feature, which can help 
you comparison shop. You can also 
manage your own cars' service records 
in the My Garage section halfway down 
the page. Scroll all the way down for 
travel directions through Yahoo! Maps. 

You'll need a free Yahoo! ID user- 
name and password to use most 
features in My Auto Center. If you 



don't already have one, you'll be al- 
lowed to sign up. 

The Road Ahead 

The amount of information on 
Yahoo! Autos is only daunting until 
you figure out which material is 
unique and which is redundant. You 
can save time by clicking the tab and 
subtab that sounds most relevant to 
your needs without worrying that 
you're going to miss something cru- 
cial stored elsewhere. 

Yahoo! Autos really puts you in the 
driver's seat, so to speak. It's a great 
place to cool your heels before (and 
after) you buy those wheels. S 

by Marty Sems 



Yahoo! Autos Custom 

Flathead street rodders, lead sled 
restorers, muscle car maniacs, 
Honda tuners . . . every generation of 
gearhead can find something of in- 
terest at Yahoo! Autos Custom. This 
new site, in beta at this writing, parks 
at custom.autos.yahoo.com. 

Feast your orbs on photos and 
profiles of members' modified cars, 
with the newest submissions found 
under the Gallery tab. You can check 
out the latest arrivals in all their va- 
riety or look up modified versions of 
your favorite makes and models. 
Also on the home page are news bits 
about aftermarket parts, celebrities' 
rides, and the like, plus a top 10 list 
of the most popular parts. 

Sign up for a Yahoo! ID, and you 
can contribute your own photos and 
comments to the site. There's a mes- 
sage board for most makes, including 
high-po names such as Maybach and 
Saleen. And because no one can 
gauge a modded car's worth like an- 
other modder, there are links to auc- 
tions and classified ads at the foot of 
the page. I 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 57 



Shopping 



Yahoo! 
Classifieds 

Put Your Goods On The 'Net 




Online classifieds aren't new 
by any means. You don't 
need much in the way of 
digital trickery to create an ad that in- 
vites readers to buy your goods. In 
fact, some people simply put their ads 
in online forums, hoping that forum 
members and visitors will glance over 
them. But many other sellers head to 
the sites that focus on classifieds. 
These sites often have features that 
help sellers show off their goods. 
Craigslist (www.craigslist.com), for 
example, lets users post basic, un- 
structured ads that have brief descrip- 
tions and small pictures. 

Yahoo! has its own classifieds sec- 
tion, which lets sellers post pictures 
and detailed descriptions of their 
merchandise. If you've never posted 
an ad or shopped on classifieds 
sites before, you'll love Yahoo! 



Classifieds (classifieds.yahoo.com). 
The Web portal has a large cate- 
gory system that helps browsers 
quickly find the items they're 
looking for. Sellers can easily 
post their ads, then kick 
back and wait for the offers 
to roll in. We'll show you 
the ins and outs of selling 
and buying items on Ya- 
hoo! Classifieds. 
If you like Yahoo!'s main 
page but plan to visit the 
Classifieds section often, add a 
Classifieds icon to the top of 
your Yahoo! home page. Simply 
click the Down arrow next to one of 
the three icons to the left of the main 
page's Yahoo! title and then click All 
Y! Services at the bottom of the list. 
When the list expands, scroll up and 
click Classifieds. An icon that links to 
the Classifieds section will appear. 

You won't need a Yahoo! ID to 
browse the listings and email sellers, 
but you'll have to sign in when you 
post your first ad. If you don't al- 
ready have a free Yahoo! ID, see the 
article "Identify Yourself on page 20 
to learn more about the benefits of a 
Yahoo! username. 

Safety First 

You know that the 'Net has its 
share of dangers and that malicious 
users try to scam buyers and sellers, 
but unless you spend a lot of time re- 
searching scams, you probably don't 
know about some of the rip-off 
methods that are circulating on the 



Internet today. To that end, Yahoo! 
Classifieds includes a Buying & 
Selling Safety tab at the top of the 
main Yahoo! Classifieds page. We rec- 
ommend checking it out before you 
dive into the classifieds section — once 
you find the perfect bike or kitten, 
you won't want to bother reading 
scam descriptions. 

Chances are, you'll recognize some 
of the scams listed here as soon as you 
visit the page. Some of the scams are 
obvious: If a person offers to give you 
a cashier's check that has more money 
than the price of the item you're 
selling, you're not dealing with a trust- 
worthy person. If you see an item that 
is normally fairly expensive at a 
ridiculously low price, steer clear. And 
of course, you'll want to be cautious 
when dealing with sellers that ask you 
to put money into an escrow account. 
But the site also offers some info you 
might not have. For example, some 
scammers try to send invoices that 
look like they come from Yahoo!. 
Yahoo! points out that it doesn't issue 
invoices. The section also links to 
Yahoo! 's Commerce Resource Center, 
which contains various Yahoo! guide- 
lines and policies, as well as links to 
consumer-oriented sites. 

Be sure to check out the Privacy 
Policy (you'll see a link at the bottom 
of the Buying & Selling Safety page), 
as Yahoo! keeps some personal infor- 
mation about you, such as your name 
and address, as well as your comput- 
er's IP (Internet Protocol) address. 
You'll also find plenty of tips for 
sellers in the My Classifieds tab (click 
the Smart Selling Tips link on the 
right side of this area). The Smart 
Selling section includes four topics: 
Avoid Fraud, Sell Safely, Manage 
Your Ads, and Improve Your Ads. 
Check out these tips before you sell 
your items, as some of the informa- 
tion applies to situations before the 
sale. For example, Yahoo! points out 
that it does not save copies of item 
listings. It suggests that you print a 
copy for your records. After all, if 
a buyer claims your listing made 



58 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Shopping 



promises you don't remem- 
ber, you'll want to have a 
copy of the original listing 
on-hand (print copies of the 
full listing and the smaller 
listing that appears in search 
results to be safe). 

Shop 'Til You Drop 



"Y^HOO* CLASSIFIEDS 



Search | 



Quick Search send 


Place a full page ad and reach a 
nationwide audience of millions! 

Post an Ad Now 




Find I temsFDr Safe 


Keywords: 


City & State or Zip: | 
» Pasta Free Ad 


Advanced Search [ Search 1 





Browse Categories 



When you first visit the 
Yahoo! Classifieds section, 
you'll find that the default 
Quick Search engine is the 
For Sale engine. It's ex- 
tremely simple: It asks only 
for a keyword (a search term 
that identifies the type of 
item you seek) and the loca- 
tion from which you'd like 
to buy it. Many of the sellers 
who post listings here won't 
ship the item to a buyer — if 
you want to buy items you 
find here, you may have to 
go pick them up. 

There are several other 
Classifieds search engines, in- 
cluding Autos, Rentals, and 
Personals. If you click any of these 
tabs, the topic's search engine will ap- 
pear; the rest of the page won't change. 
However, once you start a search, 
you'll find yourself in the topic's sec- 
tion (Yahoo! Autos, for example). If 
you want to stay within the friendly 
confines of Yahoo! Classifieds while 
you search, you're better off sticking to 
the For Sale search engine or browsing 
the For Sale category below. 

If you want a more detailed search, 
click the For Sale search engine's 
Advanced Search link (you don't need 
to enter any information before you 
click Advanced Search). The Modify 
Your Search page has several fields 
that help you weed out irrelevant 
search results. The Location field lets 
you choose between searching an en- 
tire city, state, or ZIP code, or limiting 
the search to a certain number of 
miles from a specific location. You 
can specify the miles and location. 
Perhaps the best part of the Advanced 



Computers 

Electronics and Cameras 
Everything Else 
Furniture 

■ .". ■■ : ■: 



Home & Garden 
Jewelry & Watches 
Movies S DVD 



Pet Supplies 
Sports & Outdoors 



Used Cars 
New Cars 

Research 

■- Pricing 

» Sell Your Car 



Personals 

Search Profiles 
7 Day Free Trial 
Take the Tour 



Hot Jobs 



I ' Advice 
Search by Job Category 



Housing 

Homes for Sale 



'" Sell Your Home 



* Rent You r Apa rtm en t 



Pets 

Cats 






; : 



» Create a Free Profile 



Post a Free Ad 



Wicked 



Copyright ©2006 Yi 



Yahoo! Classifieds has an uncluttered layout that will help you quickly 
find or sell all kinds of items. 



Search section is the Category field. 
The drop-down menu lets you pick 
from more than 20 categories, further 
reducing the number of wrong search 
results you'll see. The section also has 
Keywords and Price Range fields. 

Just Browsing 

You can also search Yahoo! Classi- 
fieds by browsing the categories and 
subcategories that appear on the main 
page. Only the For Sale category has 
standard Yahoo! Classifieds; the other 
categories take you to different Yahoo! 
sections. You can learn about each 
area by clicking the Help link at the 
top of that section's main page. 

The For Sale category has almost all 
of the subcategories you'll find in 
the Advanced Search's drop-down 
menu (oddly enough, the Advanced 
Search has one extra subcategory: 
Automotive Parts & Accessories). 
When you enter a subcategory, you'll 



find a Sponsor Results sec- 
tion at the top that has rele- 
vant advertising. Below this 
section is the Featured List- 
ings area. Sellers who pay 
for Featured Classifieds can 
put a picture next to the 
item description. Basic List- 
ings, the real meat of Yahoo! 
Classifieds, appear below the 
Featured Listings. 

Each listing has a Title 
(generally the name of the 
item), a short description, a 
price, and the item's loca- 
tion. In some cases you'll see 
a camera icon next to the 
item name: this indicates 
that the full listing includes a 
picture. If you want to know 
more about a particular 
item, click the name. The 
listing generally includes a 
picture as well as contact in- 
formation for the seller. In 
many cases, the seller won't 
offer a phone number, so 
you'll need to use the Reply 
To This Ad link. Be sure to 
include your email address in your 
reply so the seller can reach you. 
Yahoo! Classifieds matches buyers 
and sellers, but it doesn't take any 
part in the sale. 

Sell Your Stuff 

If you have some stuff around the 
house that you're not using anymore, 
snap some pics and head to Yahoo! 
Classifieds' Post An Ad section by 
clicking its tab at the top of the page. 
The first thing you'll notice is that not 
all ads are free. You can post ads to 
any of the For Sale categories without 
paying a dime, but if you want to sell 
a car, a house, or a pet, you'll need to 
cough up some cash. You'll also need 
to pay to post a job (but you can post 
resumes free). 

To sell an item in one of the For 
Sale subcategories listed on the For 
Sale tab, click the subcategory's link. 
If you haven't already signed into 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 59 



Shopping 



Top 10 Weird Listings 



^ Bay is well-known for weird auctions, but other classifieds have their fair 
C share, too. Here are some unusual items we stumbled across in Yahoo! 
Classifieds and other Yahoo! sections that let users hawk goods. I 



# 


Item 


Price 


10 


Used Wishing Well Bubble Gum Machines 


$395 each 


9 


Wooden Rowboat 


$1,500 


8 


Resume Help 


$5 


7 


Pet Memorials 


$0 


6 


Tanning Bed 


$600 


5 


Freezer 


$0 


4 


Brilliant Writer To Pen Your Personal Ad 


$50 


3 


Professional Karaoke At Your Party 


$50 


2 


Kitten 


10 cents 


1 


15 Easy Southern Recipes 


$5.50 



Yahoo!, you'll need to do so here. 
Next, you'll need to choose a Basic or 
Featured Listing. The Basic listing 
gives you a free, seven- day listing that 
includes a single photo and 200 char- 
acters in which to describe your item. 
You can expect to fit roughly 35 
words into the Item Description box. 

When you reach the Your Contact 
Information area of the ad setup, you 
can enter a contact name. Keep in 
mind that your Yahoo! ID will 
also be visible when you post the 
ad. You can also enter an email 
address. This address won't be 
visible to potential buyers, but 
they can use the Reply To This Ad 
feature to send a message to this 
email address. Adding a photo is a 
snap — simply click the Browse 
button, navigate to the picture on 
your hard drive, and then click 
Open. You can preview your ad 
before you post it to Classifieds. 

Not surprisingly, the Featured 
Listing, which costs $9.95, ex- 
pands some of the Basic Listing 
offerings and adds some extra 
features. The ad runs three weeks 
longer, you can display six pic- 
tures (one of which will appear in 
that subcategory's search results), 
and you get no fewer than 1,950 



characters (roughly 360 words) to de- 
scribe what you're selling. Yahoo! 
Classifieds also monitors your listing 
and reports on the ad's performance. 
Whether you choose the free or paid 
listing option, you are responsible for 
negotiating with potential buyers and 
arranging for payment and delivery. 

If you want to sell an item in one of 
Yahoo !'s other sections, return to the 
Post An Ad tab and choose one of the 




Some of the Classifieds links take you to other sections in 
Yahoo! If you click Sports Tickets, for example, you'll find 
yourself in the Yahoo! Tickets section. 



appropriate categories (each category 
title lists the price of the section's basic 
listing). Some of these sections are par- 
ticularly large, so we've included sepa- 
rate articles that will help you sell your 
products in them. If you want to sell a 
car, check out "Yahoo! Autos" on page 
55. If you're planning to move and 
need to unload your house, don't miss 
the article "Real Estate" on page 62. 

Unlike eBay, which prohibits live 
animal auctions, Yahoo! dedicates an 
entire section to pet sales and adop- 
tions. If you want to sell an animal, 
check out this section. If you want to 
sell pet accessories, including pet 
food, you can post a free listing in the 
For Sale: Pet Supplies subcategory. 

As with many other Yahoo! sec- 
tions, users who have a Yahoo! ID can 
keep track of their ads in the My 
Classifieds tab. You can also edit your 
current ads from this section. 

When Things Go South 

Although Yahoo! Classifieds seems 
relatively free of obnoxious users, 
Yahoo! takes abuse seriously. One of 
the section's main tabs is the Report 
Abuse tab, which has a short form 
you'll need to fill out to lodge a com- 
plaint. If you spot a problem user, 
write down his Yahoo! ID and the 
Ad's ID before you head to this 
page, as you'll need to supply both. 
Keep in mind that the violation 
must affect Yahoo! Classi-fieds — 
you are responsible for the transac- 
tion after you make contact with 
the buyer or seller. The form lists 
five violations: Impersonation, 
Spam, Harassment/Threats, Ob- 
scenity, and Prohibited Items. 

If you spot copyright infringe- 
ment, visit the Copyright And 
Intellectual Property Policy page 
(you'll find a link in the Report 
Abuse tab). But don't let these 
tools scare you — if you're a cau- 
tious buyer or seller, you don't 
have much to worry about, [rs] 

by Joshua Gulick 



60 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Shopping 



Flowers & Gifts 



Shop Big For Small Gifts 




Online gift shops aren't new. 
You can find Web sites for 
major florists and gift re- 
tailers with the help of a search engine, 
but Yahoo! offers a gift- shopping twist 
that individual stores can't provide. 
Rather than create yet another online 
gift store, the Web portal giant created 
a gift section that pulls offers from a 
variety of popular and obscure re- 
tailers. The Flowers 8c Gifts area 
lets you see items and compare 
prices. Once you select an item, 
you'll buy it from the online re- 
tailer that sells it. (Yahoo! sends 
you directly to that product's 
page.) Click the Shopping icon 
and link on Yahoo! 's main page to 
find the Flowers 8c Gifts area. 

Sign Up & Shop 

You can shop in the Flowers 8c 
Gifts section without registering a 
Yahoo! ID, but the free account 
offers some worthwhile shopping 
features. To sign up for a new 
Yahoo! ID, click the Sign In link 
that appears on the Flowers 8c 



Gifts page. You can read more about 
Yahoo! ID registration in the article 
"Identify Yourself on page 20. 

Your Yahoo! account includes the 
Save Lists tool, which keeps track of 
items you're thinking about buying. 
When you see a gift you'd like to 
revisit, click the item descrip- 
tion's Save To My Lists link and 
choose the list to which you'd 
like to assign the item. The tool 
has three lists: All My Stuff, My 
Wish List, and Stuff I Own. If 
you want a different list, sim- 
ply click Create A New List and 
enter a name in the Explorer 
User Prompt window. 

You can view the items in your lists 
at any time by clicking the Go To My 
Lists link that appears under product 
descriptions. The tool also lets you add 
notes to the items in your lists, so you 
can remind yourself why you selected 
them. If you've compiled a list of items 
that you'd like to share with others, 
visit your list and then click Convert 




Why browse one store after another when you can search 
tons of stores simultaneously via Yahool's Shopping section? 



Now in the Convert This To A Pick 
List And Share Your Knowledge With 
Others section. The tool lets you de- 
scribe the items and explain why you 
created the list. Once you complete the 
Pick List, you can send email invita- 
tions to friends with whom you'd like 
to share the list. 

Take The Tour 

If you want to search for a particular 
item, you can enter a keyword in the 
Search field at the top of the Flowers 8c 
Gifts main page, but we prefer to 
browse the categories. If you like to 
wander down digital aisles, then set 
aside a few hours and head to Flowers 
8c Gifts' two most important areas. 

Find The Perfect Gift. You can 
quickly refine your search by using 
Flowers 8c Gifts' search tool, which 
helps you describe the recipient. Once 
you choose Birthday in Step 1, for ex- 
ample, you'll specify an age range, 
your relationship with the recipient, 
and her lifestyle. The tool then recom- 
mends a variety of categories that 
might interest your recipient. 

Flowers 8c Gifts. The left-hand navi- 
gation bar breaks the section's treats 
into more than two dozen categories 
and subcategories. If you're looking for 
two dozen roses, you can skip the 
single-dozen rose packages by click- 
ing the Two Dozen Roses sub- 
category. Don't overlook the Gift 
Accessories area the bottom of the 
navigation bar, which includes Gift 
Bags and Greeting Cards. 

Refine, Compare & Buy 

When you shop, you'll see a 
Refine Results section on the left 
side of the page. If you're looking 
for items within a price range, 
enter it here and click Refine. 
Finally, compare items you like 
most by clicking the nearby 
checkboxes and then clicking 
Compare Side By Side, [rs] 

by Joshua Gulick 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 61 



Shopping 



Real Estate 

Yahoo! Takes You Home 



Until the Internet took the 
world by storm, people 
planning to move to dis- 
tant locations often scanned 
newspapers and relied on real 
estate agents to find neighbor- 
hoods and homes. Real Estate 
agents still have an important 
role in the home buying 
process, but many people 
now use the Internet to find 
descriptions and pictures of 
available homes and apart- 
ments, as well as informa- 
tion about mortgages and 
moving companies. With 
Yahoo! Real Estate, Yahoo! brings 
much of this information together 
under one digital roof. 

If you're planning to move in the 
near future, visit Yahoo!'s Web site 
and then click Real Estate in the Y! 
Services area. If you think you'll visit 
the Real Estate section often, click the 
arrow next to one of the icons at the 
top of the main Yahoo! page and then 
select Real Estate. The easy-to-spot 
Real Estate icon now appears at the 
top of the page. 

Welcome Home 

You won't need to register a Yahoo! 
ID to take advantage of Yahoo! Real 
Estate's main page and some of its 
customizable sections. If you already 
know the city or ZIP code to which 
you plan to move, you can immedi- 
ately find some information about the 
area by clicking the Choose Location 
link at the top-right corner of the 
main page. Once you enter the infor- 
mation and click Continue, you'll find 
that the main page automatically fills 
out the Neighborhood Profile section 




near the bottom left of the page. The 
section offers some basic population 
info and links to more detailed infor- 
mation, including cost of living and 
temperature averages, as well as air 
quality and crime indexes. You can 
also find the Neighborhood Profiles 
by clicking the Tools tab at the top of 
the page. 

You'll find a row of tabs just below 
the Choose Location link, including 
Apartments For Rent, Homes For 
Sale, and My Real Estate, among 
others. The row of tabs appears on 
every page in the Real Estate section, 
and each tab leads to the topic's 
main page. Another area that appears 
on all Real Estate pages is Features. 
The Features section lists several im- 
portant categories relevant to each 
page, including Classifieds, In- 
surance, and Resources. These links 
take you to features and services lo- 
cated on other pages. For example, 
the Rent Your Apartment link under 



Features on the Real Estate Home 
page links to the Rent Your Apart- 
ment Or House On Yahoo! Real 
Estate service that also appears on 
the Apartments For Rent page. 

If you click one of these links and 
are unsure where you ended up, look 
for the Real Estate link under the tabs. 
You'll see the site's Web page path 
(for example: Real Estate > Resources 
& Tools > Neighborhood Profiles), 
which offers a bigger picture of your 
location within the site. 

Real Estate's main page also 
offers Find A Home and Find 
A Rental search engines that 
let you specify some basic 
preferences. Fill out the 
search fields, click the appro- 
priate radio button (such as Ex- 
isting Homes, Foreclosures, or 
New Homes), and then click 
Submit to see the listings. 

Don't overlook the Fea- 
tured Videos and Real Estate 
News at the bottom right of the main 
Real Estate page. You'll find videos of 
extravagant houses and articles about 
such varied topics as solving the mys- 
tery of a smelly water heater, tips for 
ditching credit card debt, and out- 
looks for mortgages. 

Homes For Sale 

The first thing you'll notice about 
the Homes For Sale page (click the 
Homes For Sale tab at the top to get 
there) is that it has nearly the same 
search engine that appears on the 
main Real Estate page. Use the radio 
buttons to search Existing Homes, 
Foreclosures, New Homes, or Yahoo! 
Classifieds. (If you're planning to use 
Yahoo! Classifieds, be sure to check 
out "Yahoo! Classifieds" on page 58.) 
In some cases Yahoo! partners may 
offer search results for the neighbor- 
hood in which you're looking. 

The search engine doesn't let you 
specify many preferences initially, but 
you can create a much more detailed 
search by clicking the Advanced 
Search link at the bottom of the 



62 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Shopping 



Classifieds 

■ Sell Your Home 
Rent Your 



Apartment 



■ Mortgage Rates 

■ Online Rats Quotes 

■ Refinance Loans & Rates 

■ Home Equity Loans & 
Rates 

■ Free Credit Reports 



■ Find & Compare 
REALTORS® 

■ Find a Mover 

■ Homeowner's Insurance 

■ Renter's Insurance 

Tools 

■ Whafs Mv Home Worth? 

■ ___L= L. 

:::! Reports 
ire Center 

■ Home Service Center 



■ List Commercial Property 



4.48% 6.90% 



See Local Mortgage Rates 




search engine. Click the 
Residential, Foreclosures, or 
Commercial tab and then fill 
out the extra search fields. If 
you're looking for a residen- 
tial home, you'll find that 
you can narrow your search 
from an entire city to within 
1 mile of a specific address. 
You can also exclude any 
listings that don't include 
photos or virtual tours. 

If you're trying to find 
houses that are close to a 
particular street address, 
such as your place of work, 
click Submit and then click 
the View Results On Map 
button when the search re- 
sults appear. A new Yahoo! 
Local window will open, 
which means you can return 
to the search results page 
without closing the map. 
Yahoo! indicates relevant 
homes on the map with 
small house icons and lists 
the specific home addresses 
in the SmartView bar on the 
right side of the window. 
Run your cursor over the 
icons to see street addresses 
and run your cursor over the 
SmartView links to see a pic- 
ture of the home (if avail- 
able), its price, and a short 
description. You can click 
the icons or the links to find addi- 
tional information. 

Real Estate's Homes For Sale sec- 
tion also lets you list your home, 
thanks to the Yahoo! Classifieds area. 
You'll need to register a Yahoo! ID 
(see "Identify Yourself on page 20) to 
take advantage of this feature. Click 
the Sell Your Home Today! link below 
the Sell Your Home section and then 
choose the categories and subcate- 
gories into which you'd like to place 
your ad. The ad, which is available for 
$49.95, runs for 21 days. You'll need 
to provide some information about 
your home, such as the house's 
number of bedrooms and bathrooms. 



"YS^OOl REAL ESTATE j ££SS 55 



H^BBr^^r^B 



;'. Home Loans Center - Find. Compare. 5 Graph Rates 



| Find a Rental 



City & State, or Zip: Lincoln. Nebraska 

Price Range: $-0 v t0 No limit v 




Beds: Any v Batng: |Any 

Search For: ® Existing Homes 

O Yahoo! Classifieds 
ONew Homes 
O Foreclosures 







The Average Credit 
Score is 678, 

How Do You Rate? 

I Click Here » I 



jTree 

Lendin B Tree 

■ Intro Rates from 4.74% 
■ 5.74% Home Equity 
■ Get a $175.000 Loan for 
$E7S/mo 



■ Online Condo Rate Quotes 

■ Other Online Rate Quotes 

■ What is Homeowners 
Insurance 

■ Home I nve 




Loan Amount: | ] $ Term {years): |30 

Interest Rate: 5.5 % Show table?: f No" 



Find a Local REALTOR® 

■ Find & Compare 

■ Get Home Prices 



Sell your home to FastCash4Homes.com. We buy homes 
in any condition, location or price range. Get fast cash for 
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Housing Attn rd ability Hits 14-Year 




Refinance Out of ARMs 



iates_- Real Estate Ager 



ation of REALTORS® 



Yahoo! Real Estate stores most of Yahool's home buying, renting, and 
selling tools. Although it occasionally links to other tools, such as Yahoo! 
Classifieds, you'll find the Real Estate tabs atop almost every page. 



The page also asks for some optional 
info, such as the home's square 
footage and the date in which it was 
built. You can make sure that your ad 
appears ahead of basic listings by 
paying an additional $12.95. 

Apartments For Rent 

The Apartments section has the 
same rental search engine that ap- 
pears on the main Real Estate page. 
The search engine looks for apart- 
ment, house and room rentals, se- 
nior living, and condos by default, 
but you can specify a particular resi- 
dence in the Property Type field. You 



can also choose a price 
range and the number of 
bedrooms and bathrooms 
you prefer. If you want a 
more detailed search, click 
the Advanced Search link at 
the bottom of the search en- 
gine and then choose your 
preferences from the larger 
Rentals search engine. As 
with the Search Homes For 
Sale search engine, you can 
click the View Results On 
Map button to view a map 
that shows the location of 
the listed rental properties. 
This map's SmartView bar 
lets you choose a variety 
of entities that the map 
can also display, such as 
ATM, Grocery Stores, Pub- 
lic Transit, Schools, Restau- 
rants, and Shopping. You 
can also modify your search 
without returning to the 
listings. However, the map 
feature doesn't open in a 
separate window as it does 
when you search for houses. 
If you'd like to rent out 
your property and have a 
Yahoo! ID, click the Rent 
Your Property Today link 
below the Rent Your Apart- 
ment Or House section. 
Property owners can choose 
between two listing types. 
The Basic Listing, which is available 
for $34.95, lasts for 30 days and lets 
the owner post a single photo. It also 
lets the owner check up on statistics 
related to the ad daily. If you want to 
show off your rental to potential 
buyers, opt for the $54.95 Featured 
Listing, which also lasts for 30 days. 
It offers better placement in search 
results, lets you add a link that con- 
nects viewers to your own Web site, 
and supports up to six pictures of 
your property. 

Renters who are looking for a 
roommate or want to share a rental 
should check out the Roommate 
Center. You can create a free profile 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 63 



Shopping 



and use Roommate Finder to meet 
compatible roommates. When you 
sign up, you'll have an inbox that 
stores roommate matches. The service 
matches roommates in the United 
States, Canada, and Europe. Yahoo! 
partnered with RoommateClick.com, 
which provides Roommate Finder, to 
offer these rental tools. 

Home Loans 

The National Mortgage Rates sec- 
tion of the Home Loans' main page 
offers rates for common loans, such 
as 15- and 30-Year Fixed. The chart 
also lets you see last week's national 
rates. If you want to look beyond a 
week, check out the nearby Mort- 
gage Rate Trends graph, which 
covers the past three months. This 
page also includes Lending Tree's 
Get A Quote tool and an easy-to-un- 
derstand Loan Payment Calculator. 

This section's Features bar is 
much smaller than other tabs' Fea- 
tures areas, but it has some 
worthwhile tools, including 
the mortgage and rent vs. 
own calculators. 



Tools 

The Tools section has several 
small offerings that will help you 
find, sell, or rent a home. The Fea- 
tures bar on the left side of the page 
is particularly lengthy here and of- 
fers a Libraries category that in- 
cludes a Renter's Library and a 
House Facts area. The Tools page 
also offers a Find An Agent tool that 
lets you receive bids from agents 
without disclosing your identity. 
You can use the tool free. Don't 
overlook the Resource Center, which 
includes additional articles, such as a 
Moving Checklist and tips about 
buying insurance. 

My Real Estate 

If you have a free Yahoo! ID, you 
can take advantage of the My Real 
Estate section, which keeps track of 
your home, neighborhood, and 
rental searches. (You'll need to save 



Moving & Insurance 

If you're ready to start 
planning to move into your 
new apartment or house, 
check out this tab. The Mov- 
ing Services section contains 
relevant ads, but the Moving 
Tools section offers a Mov- 
ing Checklist that beats most 
moving checklists we've seen 
on the 'Net. Thanks to the 
checkboxes, you can actually 
check off the list as you near 
the moving date. You can 
save the checklist, too, al- 
though you'll need to log in 
to your Yahoo! ID to use the 
checklist feature. You'll also 
find a Mover's Library that 
has tips and tricks for mov- 
ing and an Insurance Ser- 
vices section. 



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these searches — the feature doesn't 
save them automatically.) Click the 
My Real Estate tab on the main Real 
Estate page, enter your ID informa- 
tion, and (if you're using a personal 
computer) check the Remember My 
ID On This Computer box, so you 
won't need to log in the next time 
you visit the My Real Estate tab. 

The main My Real Estate page has 
three sections: Saved Neighbor- 
hoods, Saved Listings, and Saved 
Searches. You won't find any searches 
here if you just logged in to your 
Yahoo! ID account, but you can now 
save searches. Luckily, the area has 
links to the search engines, so simply 
find the search you'd like to start, 
click it, and look for a new place to 
live. When you encounter something 
you want to save, look for the Save 
link or button, which is near the top 
of the page. If you want to save your 
search results, for example, you'll 
find a Save Search link. If you're 
looking at a home's profile, you'll 
see a Save Ad button. Once 
you've saved items, you can 
quickly find them again by 
returning to your My Real 
Estate section. 



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Thanks to a mapping feature, you can quickly determine how far 
potential homes are from you favorite location. The SmartView bar 
links to profiles of each home. You can also use the Driving Directions 
feature to map a route before you visit the homes in person. 



Help Is A Click Away 

If you find yourself lost in 
Yahoo! Real Estate's maze of 
tabs, look for the Help link in 
the upper-right corner of 
every page. The link takes you 
to Real Estate-specific help 
topics, such as How Do I Use 
The Agent Finder? You'll 
also find a list of the Top 5 
Questions. If you discover a 
problem with a listing or an- 
other part of the Real Es- 
tate service, click the Report 
Abuse link and let Yahoo! 
know what you think. Qjs] 

by Joshua Gulick 



64 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Shopping 



The Online 
Bargain Basement 

Yahoo! Bargains & Sales Is A Haven For The Thrifty 




Getting more for less is one of 
the credos of the bargain 
shopper. Exhibiting a display 
of purchasing savvy as she nimbly 
darts from clearance rack to clearance 
rack, the bargain shopper has an in- 
nate knack for finding amazingly low 
prices at any retail store. The sly grin 
she exhibits lets you know the items 
in her bag are at least 25% off. 

Yahoo! knows that a healthy num- 
ber of consumers are searching for 
low prices on anything from inflat- 
able beds to treadmills. A subsection 
of its Yahoo! Shopping page, Yahoo! 
Bargains & Sales has thousands of 
items marked down if you're looking 
to save a little cash and walk away 
with name-brand goods. 

To reach Yahoo! Bargains & Sales, 
go to the Yahoo! Shopping home page 
(shopping.yahoo.com) and click More. 
Click the Bargains & Sales link on the 
next page. You can also reach the 
Bargains & Sales page by hovering your 
mouse pointer over the More link and 



clicking Bargains & Sales link on the 
fly- out menu. 

What You Can Expect 

Most of the discounts you'll 
find in Yahoo! Bargains & Sales 
don't require a PhD in eco- 
nomics to understand. Yahoo! 
uses the time-honored slashed- 
price approach for most of the 
Bargains & Sales listings. For 
items offered from a single 
merchant, you'll see the original 
price in a strikethrough format and the 
discounted price listed above it. We 
found an Audiovox 6.4-inch Under 
Cabinet LCD TV for $140 on Bargains 
& Sales. With a $399 original price, we 
would have saved 64%. When multiple 
merchants are selling a particular 
product, a Compare Prices button will 
replace this format. 

Certain retailers who sell through 
Yahoo! Bargains & Sales offer addi- 
tional deals. When you see a Deals 
Available link below an item's Save To 
My Lists and Go To My Lists links, a 
seller is offering bargain opportunities 
in addition to a price reduction. If you 
click this link, a fly-out box should ap- 
pear that details these opportunities. 



Bargain Hunting Grounds 

Yahoo! regularly posts new deals to 
the Bargains & Sales page. Several mer- 
chants that use Yahoo! Bargains & Sales 
have free shipping offers. Some offers 
include codes you'll need to enter to 
take advantage of free shipping. Even 
though the free shipping offers are 



time-sensitive, Yahoo! usually adds 
new offers every day. 

Like other areas on Yahoo!, you can 
search for a particular product or 
browse through the categories and 
subcategories to sift through different 
deals. The search function can help 
you narrow the products you're trying 
to find at a discounted price down to a 
specific manufacturer or model. 

When you click a link for a product 
that interests you, Yahoo! redirects you 
to the retailer's Web site, where you'll 
complete the transaction. If more than 
one company offers the product, you'll 
go to a separate product page on 
Yahoo!. In these cases, the page dis- 
plays the product, a description, the 
prices offered by several retailers, cus- 
tomer reviews, and a tax and shipping 
calculator. Think of Yahoo! as the mid- 
dleman arranging a meeting between 
parties to complete a deal. 

If you sign in with a Yahoo! ID, you 
can create a list of saved products you 
find on the Bargains & Sales page. 
When you open the Bargains & Sales 
page, click the Sign In link and enter 
your Yahoo! ID and password. Adding 
an item you find to your Saved 
Products list is the same process as an 
item you find elsewhere on Yahoo! 
Shopping. For more information 
about adding merchandise to your 
Saved Products list, please see "Yahoo! 
Shopping" on page 49. 

By default, products appear in a list 
view, sorted by top results. You can 
also sort items by price and product 
rating and arrange them in a grid view. 
If you want to be more selective, you 
can click the checkboxes next to indi- 
vidual items and click the Compare 
Side By Side button. 

Monty Hall Not Required 

By using Yahoo! Bargain & Sales, 
you can pocket some of your hard- 
earned cash and get more for less. 
And you won't even have to navigate 
through the clearance racks. H 

BY VlNCE COGLEY 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 65 



Shopping 



Yahoo! Points 



Purchases Lead To Prizes 



It's always nice to get some- 
thing for free, especially 
when you get to select the 
free item. Yahoo! Points (points.yahoo 
.com) lets you earn rewards by using 
your Yahoo! Visa card. These rewards 
come in the form of Yahoo! Points that 
you can redeem for merchandise or gift 
certificates or donate to charity. You'll 
receive one point for every dollar you 
spend on the Visa card. 

Get Started 

Before you can earn rewards, you 
must sign up with Yahoo! Points. If 
you already have a Yahoo! user ID, reg- 
istering for Yahoo! Points is as simple 
as signing in to Yahoo! and accepting 
the Terms And Conditions. Look for 
the Sign In link next to the Yahoo! 
Points logo in the upper-left corner of 
the screen. Users without a Yahoo! user 
ID will first need to complete the 
Yahoo! enrollment process. If you want 



"X5sHOO| points I 



Yahoo! Points 



:</ Points? 



Earn Free Stuff— 

That's the Point 

Use Yahoo! and get rewarded! 



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I I Agree | | ~i Do Not Agree | 




To sign up for Yahoo! Points, accept the Terms And 
Conditions and click I Agree. 



to create a new Yahoo! user ID, click 
Sign Up underneath of the Sign In link. 
After enrolling, link your Yahoo! 
Points account to your Yahoo! Visa 
card to complete the setup process. If 
you don't have a Yahoo! Visa card, 
there's a link to apply for one through 
the main page of Yahoo! Points. In 
order to link your Yahoo! Visa card to 
your Yahoo! Points account, log in to 
Yahoo! Visa CardMember Services 
(visa.yahoo.com) and click 
Account Summary from the 
Your Accounts tab. Next, 
choose Get Yahoo! Points 
from the pull-down menu 
below Account Actions. On 
the following page, click the 
Yahoo! Points link and use 
your Yahoo! ID and pass- 
word to sign in. Finally, you 
should see a message to con- 
firm the linkage is complete. 

Earn Points 



After you've linked your 
Yahoo! Visa card to your 
Yahoo! Points account, you 
will begin to accumulate 
points as you charge things 
to your Yahoo! Visa card. 



To view your current point balance, 
sign in to the Yahoo! Points main 
page and look for the Your Points box 
in the right column. If you want more 
information about recent transactions 
and point expiration dates, click 
Balance Detail. Points expire four 
years from the end of the calendar 
quarter in which you earned them. 

Use Your Points 

You can redeem points for items 
such as DVDs, digital cameras, lap- 
tops, or gift certificates. Many of the 
gift certificates come in the form of a 
SuperCertificate. Redeem a Super- 
Certificate at www.GiftCertificates.com 
for physical or online gift certificates to 
popular merchants, such as Staples, 
Barnes & Noble, and Macy's. 

Instead of spending your Yahoo! 
Points, you can donate them to 
charity. Yahoo! offers six charitable 
areas with two to three charities each 
that will benefit from the donations. 
Yahoo! teamed up with JustGive.org 
to help facilitate these donations. For 
every point you donate, Yahoo! will 
give JustGive.org a penny. JustGive 
.org then distributes the amount of 
the donation minus a 3% service fee. 

In order to redeem your points, use 
the Browse Prizes section of the Yahoo! 
Points Web site. Here, you can select 
from a variety of categories and prod- 
ucts. After finding the object of your 
desire, click the link for the product, 
then the Order button. To complete 
the order, click Check Out and proceed 
through the remaining sites. The de- 
livery period takes up to eight weeks. 

Start Spending 

The only thing left for you to do is 
sign up and start earning your points. 
Whether you intend to spend the 
money on a new toy or donate it to 
charity, at least you'll be getting a little 
something back for all of the money 
you've spent on other things. Qjs] 

by Jennifer Johnson 



66 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Shopping 



Yahoo! Wallet 

Shopping Online Takes A Turn For The Simple 



As the number of merchants 
peddling their goods through 
the Internet increased, you 
gradually warmed up to the idea of 
buying online. Now you're an online 
shopping maven, excelling at piling 
products in your shopping cart and 
zipping through the virtual 
checkout lane. 

Most Web retailers make the 
process of ordering online relatively 
painless. But wouldn't it be nice to 
have all of the information associated 
with the credit card you use safely 
stored and available at the click of a 
mouse? With Yahoo! Wallet (wallet 
.yahoo.com), wrapping up your pur- 
chases is as effortless as a swipe of 
your physical credit card. 

Under Lock & Key 

Yahoo! takes "reasonable steps to 
protect your information." Briefly, that 
includes using SSL (Secure Sockets 
Layer) technology to encrypt your sen- 
sitive information and securely send it 
to the retailer. SSL sets up a secure con- 
nection between your Web browser 
and an online retailer's Web server. 
When you order something through an 
online store, the data sent to the store's 
Web server is unreadable until the Web 
server decrypts it. 

For additional security, Yahoo! 
gives you a Security Key that acts like 
an ATM card's PIN. Your Security 
Key automatically times out after one 
hour. After this period, Yahoo! will 
prompt you to re-enter it. 

Finally, Yahoo! will never display 
your entire credit card number after 
you enter it during the initial registra- 
tion. If you need to use or edit your 
Wallet information, Yahoo! only 




displays the last four digits of your 
credit card for identification purposes. 
For more information on how Yahoo! 
keeps your private information safe, 
refer to the Yahoo! Privacy Policy. 

Simple Sign Up 

Yahoo! Wallet is a free service to en- 
roll in. At the Wallet home page, click 
Sign Up Now and sign in with your 
Yahoo! ID and password. On the next 
page, enter your payment information. 
Use the Card Type drop -down menu 
to select your credit card provider and 
complete the remaining fields ac- 
cording to the information that corre- 
sponds with the credit card you want to 
use. If you click and fill the checkbox 
below Express Checkout, you won't 
have to re-enter your card number or 
address. Click Continue to proceed. 

Using Yahoo! Wallet 

You can use Yahoo! Wallet with 
Yahoo! Store merchants on Yahoo! 
Shopping. Your Wallet also works 
with the following Yahoo! premium 



services: extra email storage, auctions, 
GeoCities Plus, and Web site services. 
As an example, we used the Yahoo! 
Wallet we created in conjunction with 
Yahoo! Mail to upgrade our mail ser- 
vice. We signed on to Yahoo! Mail and 
clicked Upgrades in the top-right 
corner of the page. In the new window 
that opened, we clicked Upgrade To 
Yahoo! Mail Plus. Next, we clicked 
the Order Now and I Agree buttons. 
Because we had registered for a Yahoo! 
Wallet, we only needed to enter our 
card verification number and click 
Continue; Yahoo! Wallet took care 
of entering our other payment in- 
formation. You'll enjoy a sim- 
ilar time-saving benefit when 
you shop at other Yahoo! stores 
that accept the Wallet. 

Hit & Miss 

Although Yahoo! Wallet certainly 
simplifies the checkout procedure for 
merchants that accept it, consider 
this: Yahoo!'s Shopping home page 
boasts a collection of over 100,000 
stores, but a Yahoo! Wallet help file 
indicates you can purchase items 
from "over 10,500 Yahoo! Store mer- 
chants on Yahoo! Shopping." You 
shouldn't expect your Yahoo! Wallet 
to work with every online merchant 
associated with Yahoo! Shopping. 

If you sign up for your own Yahoo! 
Wallet and it outlives its usefulness to 
you, it is fairly easy to delete it. At the 
Yahoo! Wallet page, click Already 
Enrolled?, sign in with your Yahoo! 
ID, enter your Security Key or the 
credit card you registered, and click 
Continue. Click Delete Wallet. Yahoo! 
should ask if you're sure you want to 
delete your Wallet; click Delete Wallet 
and Continue. 

Shopping online shouldn't have to 
be a chore that you dread. Yahoo! 
Wallet cuts out some of the legwork 
(and virtual paperwork), letting you 
spend less time filling out forms and 
more time browsing for bargains. H 

BY VlNCE COGLEY 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 67 



Shopping 



Yahoo! 
Yellow Pages 

Throw Away The Paper Version 




Dinner time rolls around, and 
you simply don't have the 
energy to whip up a culinary 
masterpiece. Your refrigerator is de- 
void of leftovers, and you have 
hungry mouths to feed (including 
your own). After a quick deliberation, 
you decide to call upon the local pizza 
joint to save supper. 

Using your phone book's yellow 
pages is typically the easiest way to 
track down a business' phone number, 
but we don't always have the luxury of 
having a phone book handy. And lug- 
ging one around isn't the easiest 
chore, either. With Yahool's Yellow 
pages, you can search for a local busi- 
ness' address and phone number and 
use Yahoo! Maps to pinpoint its loca- 
tion and obtain driving directions. 

Location, Location, Location 

You reach Yahoo! Yellow Pages 
(yp.yahoo.com) by going to Yahool's 
home page and clicking the Yellow 



Pages link in the Y! Services section 
or typing the above URL into a 
Web browser's address bar. 
Before you start scouring 
Yahoo! Yellow Pages in search of 
the closest florist to your home, 
you need to provide a location. 
On the Yellow Pages home page, 
click Change Location. The next 
page has the following two fields: 
Address and City & State Or Zip. 
Including a full street address is op- 
tional but will help you find busi- 
nesses closest to that address. You 
must provide either a city and state or 
ZIP code. Click Continue when you 
provide either of these. 

Search For Your Business 

When you establish a location for 
Yahoo! Yellow Pages, you can search 
by category or a business's name in 
the Your Search field at the top of the 
page. You can also browse through 
Yahool's preselected categories and 
subcategories, such as Food And 
Dining or Retail Shopping. 

Your Search. For example, we 
wanted to find a local Thai restau- 
rant, so we typed Thai restaurant in 
the Your Search field and clicked the 
Search button. Yahoo! Yellow Pages 
retrieved two Thai food restaurants 
and provided a street address, phone 
number, and Map link for each of 
the restaurants. 

If you know the name of a specific 
business, you can type that business's 
name in the Your Search field to find 
its address and phone number. In our 
example, we looked up the retail store 



Target by typing Target in the search 
field. Yahoo! Yellow Pages found two 
Target stores in the vicinity of the ZIP 
code we provided. 

Yahool's categories. We browsed 
through the Yahoo! Yellow Pages' cat- 
egories for a lawn care service. We 
clicked Home And Garden, Lawn 
And Garden, and Landscaping to find 
a plethora of businesses eager to 
spruce up our front yard. 

Browse By City. In general, sifting 
through Yahoo! Yellow Pages' cate- 
gories and subcategories is fairly 
straightforward, letting you quickly 
and logically navigate to goods and 
services you're interested in, but the 
Browse By City is another method for 
tracking down businesses. At the 
bottom of the Yellow Pages home 
page, click the Browse By City link. 
Click the state you want to browse to 
focus your search on the state's cities 
and do the same for the city you want 
to browse. Yahoo! Yellow Pages will 
present you with a master list of cate- 
gories of business in the city you chose. 

Put It On The Map 

To illustrate how Yahoo! integrates 
its Maps features with its Yellow Pages, 
we returned to our Thai restaurant ex- 
ample. We clicked the link for one of 
the Thai restaurants, and Yahoo! dis- 
played a map that centered on streets 
surrounding the restaurant, which was 
designated as a star on the map. 

The Driving Directions link is 
helpful when you need to do more 
than simply call a business. The 
Driving Directions should be a fool- 
proof method to get you to your desti- 
nation. For more information on 
using Yahoo! Maps and its Driving 
Directions feature, see "Yahoo! Maps" 
on page 124. 

Yahoo! Yellow Pages are loaded with 
merchants and service industries to 
help you relax or enjoy a meal away 
from home. Give it a try, and you might 
never turn a yellow page again. H 

BY VlNCE COGLEY 



68 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Enter tainment 



Lights, Camera, Action! 

Yahoo! Entertainment Gives You The Lowdown On Movies, Music & Television 



~m 




Whether you want to keep 
up on the latest celebrity 
gossip from Hollywood or 
if you just want to find out what time 
that "Beverly Hillbillies" marathon 
starts, the Yahoo! Entertainment Web 
site (www.entertainment.tv. yahoo 
.com) is a great source for you. Let's 
take a closer look at this star-studded 
Web page and where it can take you. 

Movies, TV & Music 

Perhaps the main draw to Yahoo! 
Entertainment is its coverage of 
movies, television, and music. Under 
the huge Inside Entertainment ban- 
ner at the top of the Yahoo! Enter- 
tainment Web site, you'll see three 
boxes labeled Yahoo! Movies, Yahoo! 
TV, and Yahoo! Music. Inside of the 
boxes there is a photo and a headline. 
Click either to view that story on its 
respective Yahoo! page. If you want 
to read more general information in a 
specific category, you'll find a link at 
the bottom of the box that will take 



you to the home page for each sec- 
tion's site. For instance, let's say 
Yahoo! Movies features a story on 
the upcoming release of "Mission: 
Impossible III." We could read 
that story by clicking its 
title or the picture for the 
movie in the Yahoo! movies 
box. But if we wanted other 
movie info, we would click 
the More Movies link be- 
low the "Mission: Impos- 
sible" headline to go to the 
homepage for Yahoo! Movies. 
If you want more information on 
Yahoo!'s Movies, TV, and Music 
Web sites, see "Yahoo! Movies," 
"Yahoo! TV," and "The Sound Of 
Music," located on pages 73, 82, and 
74, respecitvely. 

Entertainment News & Gossip 

Just below the Yahoo! Movies, 
TV, and Music links you'll find the 
Entertainment News & Gossip section. 
This is a great way to keep up with the 
latest Hollywood news and dirt. Below 
the Entertainment News & Gossip 
banner are three links: Top Stories, 
Gossip Columns, and Supermarket 
Tabloids. Click the Tops Stories link 
to visit a page with links to the latest 
Hollywood headlines. This page, 
which has stories from the Associated 
Press, E! Online, and Reuters, can give 
you information ranging from Golden 
Globe nominations to which celebrity 
is in hot water with the law. 

The Gossip Columns, which in- 
clude "The Awful Truth" by Ted 
Casablanca, "Watch with Kristen," 
and "Inside with Marc Malkin," are 
your link to the Hollywood rumor 
mill. These columns are updated 



weekly and are fun sources for all the 
latest celebrity juice. 

You'll find Supermarket Tabloids 
to the right of the Gossip Columns 
link. Yahoo! Entertainment collects 
the latest stories from your favorite 
tabloids such as the National En- 
quirer, Star Magazine, and Weekly 
World News. Some articles are in full 
text, but others will prompt you to 
buy the issue after the first few para- 
graphs of a story. This is a fun section 
that has rather outlandish articles that 
predict everything from the next 
Great Depression to the birth date of 
J. Lo's secretly- conceived baby. 

ET& The Insider 

Yahoo! dedicates special sections to 
Entertainment Tonight and The 
Insider on the left of your screen 
below the Yahoo! Movies box. Both 
display the latest news in Hollywood. 
It's a great place to find stories on up- 
coming events such as award shows 
or movies releases. Both ET and the 
Insider have three main stories on 
Yahoo! Entertainment. Click the title 
of a story to view it. 

Yahoo! Entertainment goes out of 
its way to bring you the latest gossip 
and Hollywood happenings. If you 
aren't into the latest celebrity dish, 
Yahoo! Entertainment can still be 
useful for you. It provides quick links 
to the latest insights on movies and 
music, and you can even check out 
Yahoo! TV for your local TV schedule. 
So if the entertainment section of your 
local paper gets tossed, don't fret, 
Yahoo! Entertainment will make a 
more-than-adequate replacement, [jjs] 

by Sam Evans 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 69 



Entertainment 



Fun & Games 

Yahoo! Games Is A Great Place To Play 




There have always been 
naysayers who think that sit- 
ting in front of a computer 
monitor playing video games will 
turn us into brain dead zombies with 
limited social skills. But for those of 
us who realize that video games can 
actually help build self-confidence 
and problem-solving skills while im- 
proving dexterity, there is Yahoo! 
Games (games.yahoo.com). This is a 
great place to foster these skills and 
have a little fun playing your favorite 
games online. 

Old Favorites & New Games 

Yahoo! Games is made up of over 
240 games. It has the classics such as 
8 -ball or Checkers and new favorites 
such as Bejeweled and Text Twist. 

The first thing you'll notice when 
you go to Yahoo! Games is the blue 
box at the top of the page. This 



features links to new games, popular 

downloads, and Yahoo! 's video game 

section where you can get tips and 
cheats for games, as well as info 
on upcoming releases. 

A list of popular Yahoo! 
games is located beneath the 
blue box. These games are sepa- 
rated into eight sections: Card 
Games, Board Games, Puzzle 
Games, Word Games, Arcade 
Games, Other Games, Games 
From King.com, and Mobile 
Games. Most of these cate- 
gories are self-explanatory. 
The Games From King.com 
section features games you 
can play on the King.com 
gaming Web site. You have 
to be 18 or older to get into 

this site because you can play for 

money at King.com. When you click a 

game title in the Games 

From King.com section 

of the Games page, you 

go to a page to confirm 

your age, after which 

you can enter the King 

.com Web site. 

If you click any game 

in the Mobile Games 

section, you'll go to the 

Games page on Yahoo! 

Mobile. You can use 

options on this site to 

see if your phone will 

support certain games. 

Click the Go button 

next to View All Games 

For My Phone to find 

the games your phone 

will support. 

The rest of the 

Yahoo! Games sections 

have the same basic 



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format. For instance, look at the 
Word Games section. It has a list of a 
few featured games. To the left of the 
games, you'll see icons that indicate 
whether a game is single player or 
multiplayer. If a game is one player, 
it'll have a picture of one face wearing 
an orange cap. If the game is meant 
for more than one player, it'll have an 
image with two faces next to it. Note 
that many multiplayer games won't 
launch if you're behind a firewall. To 
the right of the game title is the 
number of people currently playing 
the game online. Click the All 25 
Word Games link in the bottom left 
of the section to view all of the word 
games Yahoo! offers. 

If you scroll to the bottom of 
Yahoo! Games, you can click the All 
Games List link. This will take you to 
a page that lists all of Yahoo!'s games 
in alphabetical order. Use the Filter 
Games By drop-down menu in the 
upper-left corner to get an alphabet- 
ical list of your favorite type of game. 

Play It Up 

It's easy to access any of Yahoo!'s 
games; just click the title of the game 



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The Yahoo! Games home page displays the top five games for each 
game type, as well as whether the games are single player or 
multiplayer and how many people are currently playing them online. 



70 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Entertainment 



Tournaments In Yahoo! Games 



i 



f you're convinced that your skills 

in backgammon are unparalleled, 
Yahoo! gives you the chance to prove 
yourself. You can join tournaments 
in your game of choice that will pit 
you against other players from 
around the world who have a pas- 
sion for competition. 

To get started, click the 
Tournaments link in the Inside Games 
section on the right of your screen. 
This takes you to a Tournaments List 
page that has a chart of all the up- 
coming tournaments for all the 
games. The chart lists the name of the 
tournament, the game that will be 
played at the tournament (there are 
tournaments for pool, backgammon, 
cribbage, and many other games), the 
pairing and format of the tournament 
(whether it's single elimination or free 
form), the start time of the tourna- 
ment, and the tournament host. 

Once you find a tournament for your 
game of choice, click the tournament 



name. If you haven't already signed in to 
Yahoo!, you will be prompted to do so 
now. After you enter your login infor- 
mation, you'll be taken to a page for the 
tournament. Click Sign Up For This 
Tournament located in the middle of 
the page in a light blue box. Unfortu- 
nately, official Yahoo! tournaments, and 
for that matter many other tourna- 
ments, require you to be an All-Star 
member in order to register. When you 
become an All-Star member, you can 
access special games, use voice chat 
while gaming, and set up your own 
tournaments and leagues. The bad part 
is that becoming an All-Star member 
will set you back $59.95 for a one-year 
subscription. If you find a tournament 
that you can register for, you can most 
likely do so starting as early as an 
hour before the tournament begins. 
Registration normally ends five minutes 
before the tournament starts. I 



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Click the All Games List link to get 
an alphabetical listing of the more 
than 240 games Yahoo! offers. 



box. Though this box differs 
from game to game, it usu- 
ally has a link to an instruc- 
tions page and another link 
to download the game to 
your computer. 

Right below the game 
screen Yahoo! lists a few 
game titles that are similar 
to the one you're playing. If 
you're enjoying this game, 
try a few of the games on 
the list to expand your 



you want to try. Most games have an 
online version, or you can download 
the game by clicking the Download 
Now link in the Download This Game 
section to the left of the game. At the 
top of the game there is a Resources 



gaming horizon. 



More Than Games 



Yahoo! Games is a great place to 
play some fun games, but this is 



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Games on Yahoo! feature a Resources section 
that gives you instructions on how to play or a 
link to download the game to your computer. 



more than just a site on which to 
play Pinochle or Checkers. This Web 
site also features a Video Games 
Web page. Click Video Games in the 
box at the top of the Games home 
page. The Video Games page fea- 
tures news, reviews, and demos for 
popular games. Use the tabs at the 
top of the page to get information 
pertinent to you or the system you 
game on. For instance, if you use 
your computer to play games, click 
the PC tab. Use the blue subcategory 
links below the PC tab to go to the 
section you want. You can choose to 
download files and demos of pop- 
ular games, or you can also find 
cheat codes for many games. 

The next time you're online with 
some time to kill, stop by Yahoo! 
Games. It has computer versions of 
old favorites you might've played as 
a kid, as well as many new games 
that you can enjoy. While novice 
gamers can practice against com- 
puter opponents, experienced players 
can participate in online tourna- 
ments to see how their skills match 
up with adversaries around the 
world. Whatever your gaming 
agenda, Yahoo! Games has some- 
thing to fulfill it. H 

by Sam Evans 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 71 



Entertainment 



A Look Into 
The Future 

Yahoo! Astrology Can Show You 
What's Written In The Stars 



Some of us are quick to put all 
our eggs in the astrology basket, 
and others find reading horo- 
scopes a nice five- second escape from 
the workday. No matter what type of 
reader you are, you can find plenty 
of fun entertainment on the Yahoo! 
Astrology page. To get there, just click 
the Horoscopes link on the Yahoo! 
homepage, in the All Y! Services box. 

Yahoo! Astrology is divided into 
three sections: Chinese Astrology, 
which tells you your fortune based on 
the animal that represents you in the 
Chinese calendar; Astrology, which 
gives you your horoscope based on 
your zodiac symbol; and Home as- 
trology, which is basically a combina- 
tion of the main features of both. 

Because you'll go to the Astrology 
Home page first, let's take a look at its 
layout. The Daily Cosmic Calendar, 
on the left side of your screen, is an 
article from Astrology.com that uses 
the alignment of the stars to deter- 
mine the general mood of the day. It 
will also warn you of potential traps 
you may fall into in your personal 
and professional lives. 

Next to the Daily Cosmic Calendar 
you'll notice the Sun Signs section. 
Click a zodiac symbol to go to the 
Astrology page. You're greeted with a 
quick horoscope for the day and an 
overview that describes your current 
situation and how you can best manage 
it. The Forecasts column on the left 
side of your screen lets you read daily, 
weekly, monthly, or yearly predictions 
on various aspects of your life, 





including love, relationships, career, 
and finance. Click the link in the 
Celebrities box below Forecasts to see 
which famous faces from sports and 
entertainment share your zodiac sign. 

You'll see a row of three terms to the 
upper right of your Daily 
Overview: Sun Signs, Com- 
patibility Tools, and Guides. 
When you hold your mouse 
over one of these terms, a 
drop-down menu appears 
giving you access to some 
neat links. One fun compati- 
bility tool is the Celebrity 
task. Move your cursor over 
Compatibility Tools on the 
right side of your screen and 
select Celebrity from the 
drop-down menu. Choose 
your sign from the Select A 
Sign menu, click a name from 
the Celebrity Name drop- 
down list, then click Go. For 



instance, if we (Gemini) ever tried to 
pursue a relationship with actress 
Marisa Tomei (an Aquarius) this tool 
would warn us that the members of 
both of our zodiac families need their 
independence. Potential peril is also 
possible if the Aquarius, who tends to 
live in the fast lane, is stubborn and 
can't appreciate the stop-and-smell- 
the- roses style of the Gemini. 

The Chinese Astrology page is fairly 
simple. It gives you the fortune for that 
day's sign. If you don't know your 
Chinese astrological sign, there's an 
Enter Your Birthday Here section that 
has drop -down boxes for the month, 
day, and year of your birth. Click Go 
after you enter your birthday informa- 
tion, and you'll find your animal in the 
Chinese astrological calendar. In the 
Forecasts box to the left of your for- 
tune, choose Year In General and Year 
In Love links to get advice for events 
that may happen in the current year. 

Yahoo! Astrology is a great site to 
visit if you want to read your horo- 
scope or learn more about zodiac 
and Chinese astrology. The fortunes 
you can read on this page are great, 
but the extras such as the compati- 
bility tools and cosmic calendar set 
this site apart from the horoscopes 
page of your newspaper. @ 

by Sam Evans 



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compatible with your favorite Hollywood star. 



72 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Entertainment 



Yahoo! Movies 

Everything But The Sticky Floor 



More Than Just 
A Denominator 
In Common 




Tom Cruise out-monkeying 
King Kong on Oprah's couch. 
The Lion and the Witch meet 
Harry Potter. The news, the reviews, 
the schmooze — it's all here at Yahoo! 
Movies (movies.yahoo.com). 

Yahoo! Movies might just seem 
like another entertainment gossip site 
if it weren't for the fact that it's actu- 
ally useful. If you want to know 
what's playing at your local theaters 
and when, this is the place to go. It's 
also a place where you can share your 
opinions on movies with a commu- 
nity of other fans. 

Reel Interesting 

Most of the Yahoo! Movies site is 
self-explanatory, but a few features 
deserve closer attention. 

Reviews. The Also Inside section 
at the bottom left of the home page 
is where you'll find Yahoo!'s re- 
viewers. Greg Dean Schmitz of Up- 
comingmovies.com previews films 
that haven't been released yet. If 
you'd like to know who's the newest 
cast member in the "X-Men" movie 
franchise (cough, Frasier, cough), 



movies.yahoo.com/mv/upcoming is 
where to find out. 

Another reviewer, known as Movie 
Mom, rates films from a parent's point 
of view (movies.yahoo.com/mv/movie 
mom). She'll set you straight on 
whether "Chicken Little" or "Wallace 
& Gromit: The Curse Of The Were- 
Rabbit" are appropriate for a child of a 
particular age. Movie Mom gets right 
down to the details about things par- 
ents might find objectionable for some 
children. For example, in her review of 
"Herbie: Fully Loaded," she indicates 
that there's some slapstick violence, but 
no one gets seriously hurt. She also 
points out some language that may fly 
under most viewers' profanity radar, 
but might raise some parents' hackles. 

Local showings. The Get Show- 
times And Tickets area at the top 
right of the Yahoo! Movies page lets 
you find movie showtimes for your 
locale. You can look them up by 
movie title, city, or ZIP code. 

If any of the showtimes are hyper- 
linked, you can click them to buy 
tickets online at Fandango.com. Online 
ticket sales were available for a third to 
a half of the theaters we researched, 
such as those owned by Loews. 

RSS. If you use RSS (Really Simple 
Syndication) reader software to gather 
news headlines, check out the feeds 
available at movies.yahoo.com/rss. 
There were 13 entertainment news 
feeds available at this writing, in- 
cluding new DVD release and movie 
trailer announcements. 

DVD/Video. This tab at the top of 
the Yahoo! Movies page takes you to 
reviews and previews of DVDs. In case 
you're wondering whether the addi- 
tional features on the "Sin City Recut & 
Extended Special Edition" are worth 



After nosing around Yahoo! 
Movies' many departments, we'd 
wager that 80% of Hollywood news 
falls into the following categories. 
A successful Broadway play 
comes to the silver screen 
Teenaged backpackers stumble 
into danger 

A successful classic gets remade 
with new CG 

Celebrities break up and immedi- 
ately start to date other celebrities 
A successful DVD gets re-released 
with a few more extras 
Tommy Lee Jones crosses the 
country to catch some criminal 
or bury a friend 

A successful film gets rehashed in 
several sequels 



buying the disc all over again, this is the 
place to be. Some of the reviews go way 
in-depth about the quality of the audio 
and image transfer, something con- 
noisseurs will like. 

My Movies. This tab lets you join a 
community of other movie fans. At My 
Movies, you can write your own re- 
views, make lists of the flicks you love 
(and hate) the most, and hear about 
other films you might like. You'll need 
a Yahoo! ID or Mail username and 
password to use My Movies. Click the 
Sign Up Now link to create one. 

Item!!! 

There's more than one way to find 
the trailers and reviews you're looking 
for, so explore the site in your own 
way. Whether you're a cinemaphile or 
just someone who doesn't want to 
waste two hours of your life on some- 
thing like "Ishtar" or "Gigli," Yahoo! 
Movies has a lot to offer you. Qjs] 

by Marty Sems 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 73 



Entertainment 



The Sound 
Of Music 

March To The Beat Of The Yahoo! Music Drum 



Y 



ou can tell a lot about a per- 
son by thumbing through her 
CD collection. Though some 
people may share an artist or two in 
common, a person's music collection 
can be nearly as distinct as her fin- 
gerprints. At Yahoo! Music (music 
.yahoo.com), you can find people 
who share your general tastes in 
music or find new artists to add 
to your collection. 

Yahoo! Music Home 

The Yahoo! Music home page 
is filled with goodies that include 
quick links to popular online music 
stations, the latest music news, and 
the top 10 music videos of the week. 
If you want to keep tabs on up- 
coming artists or see what's going 
on in mainstream music, the best 
way to move around this Web site is 
to use the four black tabs titled 
LAUNCHcast Radio, Music Videos, 
Y! Music Unlimited, and Artists. 
These are at the top of the page just 
below the Sign In link and Search 
Music search box. To take full advan- 
tage of this Web site, click the Sign In 
link at the top of the page and enter 
your Yahoo! ID and password. 

If you click the LAUNCHcast 
Radio tab, you'll go directly to the 
LAUNCHcast home page where you 
can access and edit your personal 
radio station. If you look under the 
Hot Stations tab in the middle of the 
LAUNCHcast page, you can listen to 
stations that play your favorite genre 
of music. If you're signed in to 
Yahoo! Music and you highlight the 



LAUNCHcast tab with your mouse, 
a drop-down menu will appear with 
links to play or edit your station, 
view the radio station guide, up- 
grade to LAUNCHcast 
plus, or view LAUNCH- 
cast's Help section. 

The next tab, titled 
Music Videos, has links 
such as Play My Station. 
Just like your online radio 
station, Yahoo! Music lets 
you customize a station 
that plays music videos. 
You can rate videos as 
they're playing, and Ya- 
hoo! will use those rank- 
ings to get a better idea of 
what you like and tailor 
this station to play your 
favorite videos. 

The My Videos link, lo- 
cated beneath the Play My 
Station option, takes you 
to a page that stores all the 
videos that you've rated. 




This page also gives you one-click ac- 
cess to your video station and the 
videos you've viewed recently. In ad- 
dition, the Music Videos drop-down 
menu gives you links to the top 100 
videos on Yahoo! Music, new videos 
that have just been added to Yahoo! 's 
database, and the Dig It Or Dis It 
page, a site that pits five videos 
against each other in a battle for your 
affection. You can vote for your fa- 
vorite and track the results on the 
Dig It Or Dis It page. 

The Y! Music Unlimited tab isn't 
quite as feature-rich as the first 
two. If you click the tab, you're 
taken to a page where you can sign 
up for Yahoo! Music Unlimited 
(Yahoo!'s music subscription ser- 
vice). For more information on 
Yahoo! Music Unlimited, check out 
the sidebar that accompanies this 
article. There is only one link under 
the Yahoo! Music Unlimited tab: 
Yahoo! Music Engine. This basically 
serves as a media player that lets you 
rip and burn CDs, create play lists, 
and download songs from the Yahoo! 
Music database for 99 cents. The 
Yahoo! Music Engine is available as a 
free download from Yahoo!. If you're 
looking for an alternative to Windows 




Use the four tabs at the top of the Yahoo! Music home page 
to easily navigate this Web site. 



74 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Entertainment 



Media Player, then you might find the 
engine useful. 

The final Y! Music navigation tab 
is the Artists tab. Click it to go to the 
Artists page where you can view cat- 
egories such as the Artist 
Of The Day, Top Artist 
Searches, and Top Yahoo! 
Buzz Artists. You can also 
click the Who's Next link 
under the Artists tab if 
you're looking for up-and- 
coming artists. 

The Artists drop-down 
menu is filled with links 
that will take you to infor- 
mation or forums about 
artists you already love and 
artists on the rise. The first 
link in the menu takes you 
to Smash, a site that has the 
latest news on your favorite 
artists along with weekly 
polls and in-depth inter- 
views and performances by 
notable musicians. Besides 
Smash, this tab offers links 
to photo galleries, breaking 
news, and a page where you 
can download ringtones 
from your favorite artists. 

LogOnToLAUNCHcast 

One of the coolest fea- 
tures on Yahoo! Music is 
LAUNCHcast. This is basi- 
cally a radio station data- 
base that streams audio to 
you via your Internet con- 
nection. But before you can 
listen to your personalized 
radio, you have to set it up. 

To start this process, click 
the LAUNCHcast Radio 
tab. The first section you'll 
see is the Make Your Own 
Radio Section. Click the 
name of a genre you like 
and then choose a few of the 
artists listed in the genre 
that you enjoy listening to. 
You can enter four more 
artists in the four text boxes 



Yahoo! Music provides just below the 
genre section. Finally, check the box 
that says you read and understood 
Yahoo!'s privacy policy and click 
Create My Station. 





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The Yahoo! Radio Station Guide lists all the available radio stations on 
Yahoo! Music by category. 




Use the drop-down menu in the Search section to tailor your search to 
receive specific information on artists, songs, or albums. 



Yahoo! then launches a station 
that plays music based on your mu- 
sical preferences. You may get a mes- 
sage from Yahoo! saying that your 
LAUNCHcast player couldn't open 
because a pop-up blocker 
blocked it. If you receive 
this message, click the link 
at the bottom that says Try 
Launching The Player 
Again to launch your sta- 
tion. If this doesn't work, 
you may have to clear the 
pop-up through the pop- 
up blocker. If you use 
Internet Explorer, you can 
do this by clicking Tools, 
then Pop-up Blocker, then 
Pop-up Blocker Settings. In 
the Address Of Web Site 
To Allow dialog box, type 
launch.yahoo.com and 
click Add. This will al- 
low your Web browser to 
display Yahoo! Music's 
pop-ups, including your 
LAUNCHcast player. 

Once the music starts 
playing, you have the op- 
tion to rate the song, artist, 
and album on a four-star 
scale. If you dislike an artist, 
song, or album, you can 
choose an option to never 
hear it again. Yahoo! uses 
these ratings to decide what 
music it should play next 
on your station. The more 
songs you rate, the better 
suited your station becomes 
to playing the music you 
most enjoy. 



Radio Station Guide 

If you sign up for LAU- 
NCHcast Plus, you'll have 
access to more than 120 on- 
line radio stations, but the 
35 you get without up- 
grading are nothing to scoff 
at. Use the Radio Station 
Guide to easily locate a sta- 
tion that suits your musical 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 75 



Entertainment 



Yahoo! Music Unlimited 

Though Yahoo! Music offers a lot 
of free services, you can get a few 
more handy features by subscribing 
to Yahoo! Music Unlimited. This is 
one situation where it pays if you're 
not afraid of commitment. If you're 
prepared to join for a full year, it'll 
cost you $59.88 up front, about $4.99 
per month. If, however, you want to 
pay as you go, the service costs $6.99 
per month. 

Once you ante up for a member- 
ship, you can access more than 1 
million songs in the Yahoo! Music 
database. Yahoo! Music Unlimited also 
lets you save songs to play lists. You 
can log in to your account and access 
your songs from any computer as long 
as you have a valid subscription. You 
can download a song as a WMA 
(Windows Media Audio) file through 
Yahoo! Music Unlimited for only 79 
cents per song. Once you download a 
song, you can burn it to a CD or add it 
to a portable music player. 

Yahoo! Music Unlimited isn't only 
a nice place to find new music, but 
you can also use your account to 
manage the music you already have. 



tastes. To get to the guide, simply 
click the LAUNCHcast RADIO tab 
and click Radio Station Guide. This 
takes you to the Radio Station Guide 
page, which displays all of LAUNCH - 
cast's radio stations by genre. Just 
scroll down the page until you see 
something you like and click it. 
The free stations are denoted by or- 
ange icons with black headphones. 
Stations available on LAUNCHcast 
Plus have purple icons with black plus 
signs in them. 

Search & Listen 

Yahoo! Music has a cool search 
tool that leads you to information, 
music, or videos of your favorite 
artists. The Search Music text box is 



You can import your CDs and make 
new playlists using the Yahoo! Music 
Unlimited player's interface. If you're a 
member, you can also share full songs 
with other members via Yahoo! 
Messenger. This is an easy way to 
trade songs with friends and expand 
your tastes. Also, if tuning into 
LAUNCHcast turns your dials, a sub- 
scription to Unlimited will get you 
commercial-free access to more than 
100 LAUNCHcast stations. 

There are some sites out there that 
let you download an unlimited 
number of songs for a flat monthly 
fee, but as soon as you stop your sub- 
scription, they cut off your ability to 
access that music. Thankfully, Yahoo! 
Music Unlimited doesn't do this for 
the songs you download. As a sub- 
scriber, when you pay the 79-cent fee 
per song, you have access to it when- 
ever you want. Unfortunately, 
though, when you cancel your sub- 
scription you will lose access to the 
songs you haven't downloaded to 
your computer, but have only saved 
in playlists on your Yahoo! Music 
Unlimited account. I 



located at the top right of every page 
you visit on the Yahoo! Music Web 
site. Select the type of information 
you want to search using the drop- 
down menu (choose from All, 
Artists, Albums, Songs, or Videos) 
and then type the name of the search 
term. For instance, if we wanted to 
find everything Yahoo! Music had 
on Johnny Cash, we'd leave the 
Search drop-down menu on All, 
type Johnny Cash in the text box, 
and click Go. 

Yahoo! will display all the artists, 
albums, videos, and songs that have 
"Johnny Cash" in them. For in- 
stance, the artists section of our 
search results not only lists the tradi- 
tional man in black, but also has a 
link to info on the modern country 




If you're willing to pony up a little more 
dough for LAUNCHcast Plus, you can customize 
your own radio stations. 



group, Bastard Sons Of Johnny 
Cash. Similarly, Yahoo! Music not 
only displays songs, videos, and al- 
bums written or starring Johnny 
Cash, but also includes any songs or 
albums with the words "Johnny 
Cash" in the title. 

As we mentioned earlier, use the 
drop-down menu in the Search 
Music section to get more specific 
results. If we use the same Johnny 
Cash search but change the drop- 
down menu to Videos, we get a list 
of music videos that star Johnny 
Cash or have that name in the title. 
This saves us time by excluding info 
on albums that are for sale or songs 
available for download. 

No matter what kind of music you 
tap your toe to, you can probably 
find it on Yahoo! Music. The Web 
site has everything from Mozart to 
Metallica, and if you can stand a few 
commercial breaks, you can listen to 
a station custom made for you for 
free. If you're looking for a place to 
listen to your favorite songs and 
learn more about artists or genres 
that interest you, look no further 
than Yahoo! Music. Qjs] 

by Sam Evans 



76 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Entertainment 



Fantasy 
Fulfillment 

Coach Your Own Pro Sports Team On Yahoo! 



Hardcore sports fans check 
the news about their teams 
obsessively and devise com- 
plicated game- day strategies in their 
heads — and they always, always think 
they had a better plan for the game, 
no matter the outcome. As it turns 
out, there a lot of these fans all over 
the world, and Yahoo! is doing its best 
to help armchair quarterbacks and 
wannabe coaches everywhere have 
their shot at sports glory, 
through the site's Fantasy 
Sports page. 

You're The Commish 

With Yahoo! Fantasy 
Sports, you can take control 
of an imaginary football, 
baseball, basketball, soccer, 
or hockey team that you 
draft and control online. (To 
see all of your options, next 
to Play Now, click More.) 
You call the shots when it 
comes to team management, 
and when game day arrives, 
it's the real-life performance 
of your players that deter- 
mines your fantasy league 
results, so of course, fantasy 
leagues run only during the 
season of their respective sports. 

To get started, all you need is a free 
Yahoo! account, which you can create 
by accessing the main Fantasy Sports 
page (fantasysports.yahoo.com) on 
Yahoo!. Near the top of the page, click 
the Sign Up link, and the site prompts 
you to enter your name and a login 



ID you'd like to use for 
your account. After that 
you'll set a few user prefer- 
ences. Once you set up your 
account, you can get started 
with your first fantasy team. 

Fantasy football. Fantasy football 
is the most popular of Yahoo !'s fan- 
tasy sports, and there are a number of 
options you can use to access virtual 
pigskin action. You can start with a 




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Draft a fantasy football team, and every week you'll see a roster 
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free fantasy league or a pay-to-play 
league called Fantasy Football Plus, 
or you can play Salary Cap or Sur- 
vival football. 

When you sign up for a free fantasy 
league, you have four options from 
which to choose: Public or Custom 
leagues based on head-to-head or 



fantasy points configuration. If you 
create a custom league, you can invite 
specific people to play in your league; 
to join another custom league, you 
need the league ID and password. If 
you don't know enough managers to 
create your own custom 
league, you can join a public 
league instead and play 
against people from all over 
the world. In a head-to-head 
league, you square off each 
week against one other team, 
and the lineup that scores 
the most points wins. In a 
points league, the team with 
the highest point total at the 
end of the season wins. 

Once your league is set 
up, you'll choose a day to 
draft players. Yahoo! will let 
you pick a slot for a real- 
time draft, or you can opt 
for an Autodraft where 
Yahoo! picks players de- 
pending on your preselected 
rankings (or on the site's de- 
fault player rankings). Once 
the season starts, there are a full range 
of player management options, in- 
cluding free agency, trading, waivers, 
and more. 

Options galore. If you'd rather pay 
to play, the Plus version will cost you 
$24.99 per season. You'll receive a 
bundle of extra features for your 



like 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 77 



Entertainment 



money, designed to help you build 
and maintain a more successful team. 
One of the most notable features is 
called StatTracker, a tool that lets you 
track your players' statistics and point 
totals in real time during game day; 
without this tool, you'll have to wait 
until after every game (or do some se- 
rious manual number crunching) to 
see how well your team performed. 
You also receive a scouting report, 
draft kit, and other extras to help you 
on your way. Playing in a paid league 
also makes you eligible to win cash 
prizes at the end of the season. 

You don't have to settle for owning 
and running a single team. In the Plus 
league, you can create your own 
league for $124.99 and invite up to 20 
other mangers to join your league. 
When you pay the big bucks to be a 
Plus league commissioner, you can set 
many of your own rules to control 
scoring, rosters, and other funda- 
mental features that can totally 
change the outcome of games. 

If you just want to play for free but 
like some of the extra features of the 
Plus system, you can pay $9.99 for the 
StatTracker, $19.99 for expert insights 
on player performance, and $9.99 for 
draft kit that will (hopefully) help you 
get your season off on the right foot. 

During the season you can chat 
with your opponents, leave them 
taunting messages, finagle show- stop- 
ping trades, and much more. Yahoo! 's 
fantasy football league is an exhaus- 
tive system that will let sports junkies 
revel in their favorite pastime for 
hours on end, and to get a sense of 
just how big the fantasy football phe- 
nomenon is, you'll have to try it your- 
self. One important note — if you opt 
for the Plus league, make sure your 
friends are willing to ante up the 
dough because you can't use your 
Plus team to play in a free league. 

Salary Cap and Survival. If that's 
not enough fantasy football for you, 
you can also consider playing in the 
Salary Cap or Survival pro football 
fantasy leagues. The Salary Cap league 
is a weekly game where each team 



manager gets $100 million to put to- 
gether a team of nine players, each of 
which have an assigned dollar value, 
while keeping the roster below the 
salary cap. Each player's value changes 
from week to week depending on their 
performance, a fact that keeps this 
game challenging as the season pro- 
gresses. There are both private and 
public groups for Salary Cap football. 

In Survival football, you attempt to 
pick the winners of a pro football game 
in each week of the season. If you guess 
correctly, you stay active in your group 
and survive to play 
again the following 
week. Guess wrong, 
though, and you're 
eliminated from the 
competition. To make 
this seemingly easy task 
more difficult, you can 
pick each professional 
football team only once 
during the season. 



with both baseball and football, you 
can buy add-on features for live scoring 
updates, draft kits, and even a wireless 
tool that lets you manipulate your team 
with a PDA (personal digital assistant) 
when you don't have access to your PC. 
Pick 'em apart. In addition to man- 
aging a team, you can play Pick 'Em 
for golf, auto racing, pro and college 
football, and the NCAA basketball 
tournament. As its name implies, Pick 
'Em leagues challenge you to pick the 
winners of each week's tournament, 
race, or game. You win your league 



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Football might be 
the most popular sport 
for fantasy players, but 
major league baseball, 
pro basketball, soccer, 
and hockey all have 
their share of fantasy devotees, too. 
These leagues work much like fantasy 
football, in that you must create or 
join a league, draft a team, and then 
set up your team each week to try and 
best your opponents. 

As with football, the fantasy base- 
ball section has both free and Plus 
leagues that will appeal to casual and 
more serious users, respectively. The 
Plus league gives you access to some 
of the same kinds of features as Plus 
league football, such as real-time 
scoring and expert analysis to guide 
your management decisions. 

The basketball and hockey leagues 
don't offer a Plus version, so if you 
want to manage teams in these sports 
you won't pay to play. However, as 



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If fantasy football isn't your speed, Yahoo! offers a full slate of 
other fantasy sports, such as hockey, soccer, and baseball, to 
help you seek online glory. 



with the best cumulative score, which 
you raise by picking which team, 
player, or car does best. 

Keep It Real 

Fantasy sports are big, and they're 
only getting bigger, with millions of 
people logging on to Yahoo! and 
other fantasy sports sites every season. 
So whether you're looking for a 
minor distraction from work, need 
more excuses to follow your favorite 
sports team, or you're a sports trivia 
addict who craves online competition, 
Yahoo !'s lineup of fantasy sports has 
your game, [jjs] 

by Nathan Chandler 



78 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Entertainment 



Travel Unraveled 

Yahoo! Demystifies Online Trip Planning 




The Web is a great equalizing 
force in travel planning, letting 
you research the best prices on 
transportation, lodging, sight-seeing, 
and much more. But there's a catch to 
this convenience — you have to know 
exactly where to look online. Yahoo! 
Travel (travel.yahoo.com) attempts to 
simplify your itinerary strategizing by 
providing oodles of travel information 
on a single page. 

As you can probably imagine, 
there's a lot of information to sort 
through on a travel site that tries to be 
an all-encompassing launch pad for 
your next trip. We'll walk you through 
Yahoo! Travel's capabilities and point 
out highlights you can use to find the 
best information to help you start your 
next journey off on the right foot. 

Let's Hit The Road 

Scroll through the front page of 
Yahoo! Travel, and you'll see an 



expansive number of travel research 
options. The Quick Search section at 
the top lets you immediately find 
deals on flights, hotels, rental cars, 
vacations, and more. The Destin- 
ation And Hotel Guides section 
helps you locate an area 
of interest and then pinpoint 
a reputable place to stay. 
Interest Guides let you 
sort through potential dest- 
inations by the kinds of 
activities you prefer. What's 
more, there are trip plan- 
ning tools (see our "Trip 
Planner Beta" sidebar) and 
search features that will help 
you find better deals on every 
aspect of your trip. In short, if you 
really want to, you can burn as much 
time planning your trip with Yahoo! 
as you do traveling. 

If you'd prefer finding trips much 
more quickly, Yahoo! can help. Click 
the Flight & Hotel radio 
button located at the top 
of the Quick Search 
box to line up a flight 
and room immediately. 
Enter a city and your 
travel dates, and Yahoo! 
will offer you a trip 
package customized to 
your needs. Then you 
can sort by price, rating, 
and hotel name to find 
exactly what you're 
looking for. 

Most people will 
prefer to do a little bit 
of research before they 
book a trip, though. 
Yahoo! makes it easy to 
quickly find informa- 
tion that's relevant to 



your preferred destination. The 
Search Travel box near the top of the 
page is your instant gateway to a 
world of travel possibilities. As with 
all keyword searches, sometimes 
you'll have to refine your keywords 
before you find exactly what you're 
looking for. For example, typing ski 
Colorado provides very different re- 
sults from typing Colorado skiing. 

It often pays to begin with general 
keywords and then move towards 
keywords that are specific. If you 
know you want to base your trip 
from Silverthorne, Colo., for in- 
stance, typing ski Silverthorne 
Colorado immediately returns perti- 
nent information. 

If you specify a major city in the 
Search Travel textbox, Yahoo! will 
reward you with a rich slate of fig- 
ures and facts. Type Omaha, NE and 
the first link you'll see is a Travel 
Guide constructed by Yahoo!. Then 
you'll see an entire list of links pro- 
vided by other Web resources that 
will let you explore the area from be- 
hind your PC desk. 

Quick hits. Just below the Search 
Travel box, you'll see the Quick 
Search engine. Click the various tabs 
to rapidly find information on spe- 
cific flights, lodging, and more. For 
example, click Hotels, then enter a 



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Yahool's Interest Guides help you find destinations by preferred 
activities. You'll find suggestions for Best Beaches, Top Singles 
Destinations, and more. 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 79 



Entertainment 



city name and the dates you'll be vis- 
iting, and Yahoo! will list all of the 
choices it finds. Each hotel listing 
comes complete with a Yahoo! Travel 
Star or AAA rating, traveler reviews, 
lists of amenities, room prices, con- 
tact information, and more. Then you 
can sort your list by price, ratings, 
hotel name, or city name. 

We can't overemphasize the use- 
fulness of reading through traveler 
reviews before making reservations, 
because these reviews often 
reveal details that the rating 
scale doesn't. Look more 
closely at some four-star 
hotels, and you may find 
consistent complaints about 
dirty rooms, rude staff, 
broken in-room furnishings, 
and other problems that the 
rating systems might miss. 

With many hotels, you'll see 
a Low Rate Guarantee link 
next to the Traveler Reviews at 
the top of the hotel listing. 
Click this link and you'll see 
an explanation of the low- rate 
guarantee, in which Yahoo! 
will refund the difference in 
price if you find a less expen- 
sive offer on the same room 
on the same dates using an- 
other service. So if you're serious 
about getting the best possible deal, 
be sure to take advantage of Yahool's 
low-rate guarantee program. 

The Quick Search features works 
similarly for car rentals, vacation 
deals, and other travel necessities. 
Click the Cars link, enter a city and 
travel dates, and you'll see an orga- 
nized list of rental car options, 
complete with prices, various car 
types, and a sorting tool that will help 
you find a deal that best suits your 
needs. And the Vacation tab provides 
an entire range of planning tools, let- 
ting you quickly find package deals — 
including any combination of room, 
flight, and rental car — that should 
save you money. 

When finding the lowest price is 
your main concern, you may want to 



click the FareChase tab. FareChase is 
a Yahoo! search engine designed to 
scan multiple sites to help users find 
the lowest prices on hotel rooms and 
airfares. For in-depth information on 
FareChase searches, see "FareChase" 
on page 144. 

Online Explorations 

If you want to do more research 
before you commit to a location or 



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The Quick Search tabs are set up to help you quickly find the best 
deals on everything from hotel rooms to rental cars. 



flight plan, scroll down to 
Explore The Destina- 
tion And Hotel Guides 
box. This section lists a 
few links for popular 
travel destinations, a 
drop -down box with an 
extended list of trendy 
cities, and a world map 
with links to areas 
across the globe. 

Click a spot on the 
map and Yahoo! lists 
some of the most com- 
mon travel destinations 
in the area; this includes 
very popular countries 
and cities. Click a city 
name and Yahoo! shows 
you a city- specific travel 
page that lists just about 



everything you'd need to know before 
journeying to a metropolitan location 
you've never visited before. 

If you desire to bypass fashionable 
destinations for areas that don't make 
Yahoo !'s highlights, you can. Click a 
country name, and you'll see other 
city names that might not be as recog- 
nizable. But whether you select Paris 
or Pretoria, you'll engage one of 
Yahoo! Travel's most powerful fea- 
tures — the city travel guide. 

City discoveries. When you 
click a city's link, you're ac- 
cessing one of this site's best 
features, because it's these in- 
dividualized guides that offer 
the most specific information. 
To the left of the city name 
you'll see links for Hotels, 
Things to Do, Restaurants, 
and Deals. You will see a city 
Introduction that explains the 
area's geographical and polit- 
ical history (and more), as 
well as a Neighborhoods link 
that describes the city's layout. 
Click the Hotels or Restau- 
rants link to see a list of these 
businesses in the city you're 
visiting. Yahoo! displays 
these businesses by popu- 
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Major cities have their own pages full of hotel and restaurant 
reviews, plus background information that makes it much 
easier to navigate your way through unfamiliar streets. 



80 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Entertainment 



name, and you will see a short 
description of the cuisine, a star 
rating, and user reviews, as well as 
contact information. In some cases 
you won't see Yahoo! user reviews, 
but Yahoo! does occasionally pro- 
vide reviews from other sources on 
the Web. 

In the city Introduction and 
Neighborhoods listings, you'll see 
links to visitor reviews of the city as a 
whole. As with hotel and restaurant 
reviews, these first-person accounts 
really offer you some of the best 
glimpses into what you should expect 
from your stay. Read some of the 
dozens of accounts from people 
who've been to Lagos, for example, 
and you'll get the idea that it's a 
chaotic city where you should watch 
your step. Browse through comments 
written about Cairo, and you will 
have the impression that the city is 
safe and clean. 

In other words, these reviews offer 
tips for the places you should defi- 
nitely go, and those that you should 
avoid. Adventurous types will find 
all sorts of streetwise tips for dealing 
with con men or preventing run-ins 
with people in dangerous areas. 
More safety-minded travelers will 
find information to help them steer 
clear of seedy parts of town where 
they might fear for their wallets or 
even their lives. 

Follow Your Heart 

Your relatives might rave about 
their last trip to Las Vegas, but if you 
hate gambling and glitz, those folks 
won't be much help in the way of 
travel advice. So when you're browsing 
for a destination based more on your 
personal interests than geographical 
location, Yahoo! 's Interest Guides offer 
plenty of ideas. 

The Interest Guides are divided 
up into categories such as Romantic 
Getaways, Best Beaches, Top Singles 
Destinations, Last-Minute, and 
more. Click any of links and Yahoo! 
displays locations and a general list 



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contact information, as 


add the item in question 


well as visitor reviews 


to your trip itinerary. Just 


experimental) phase, 


and expert advice from 


below the map, Yahoo! 


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other sources. If you're 


provides a driving direc- 


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interested, just click Add 


tions tool preloaded with 


way to plan trips 


To Trip, and Yahoo! 


your trip stops so you 


without losing track of 


inserts the business's 


can click to find direc- 


or omitting important 


name, address, and 


tions between your way- 


details. To get started, in 


other vital information. 


points in mere seconds. 


the Planning A Trip? box 


For each item in your 


In some instances you 


along the right side of 


list, you can add 


may want to add attrac- 


the Travel home page, 


keyword tags that will 


tions to your itinerary 


click Create Your Trip. 


help you locate bits of 


that Yahoo! doesn't list. 


Here, you can type a 


information on a long 


At the bottom of the 


name for your trip, such 


itinerary. You can also 


Trip Planner you'll see a 


as Alaska Fishing 


add short text notes and 


link called Y! Trip 


Adventure, and a quick 


organize the dates you'll 


Planner — point to this 


description. Then enter 


be visiting each location, 


link for instructions on 


the start and end dates 


a capability that helps 


adding resources from 


for your trip, click 


you keep everything 


other Web sites to 


Create Trip, and you can 


logical and neat. 


your schedule. 


enter your destination's 


Click Map View and 


You can share your 


name in the Trip 


Yahoo! displays a color 


trip page online to 


Planner Search box. 


map of the area you're 


keep friends and family 


Yahoo! then gathers 


visiting. To the right of 


up-to-date with your 


hotels, restaurants, en- 


the map, you'll see a list 


plans or even authorize 


tertainment, and other 


of icons for Hotels, 


them to make neces- 


business names that you 


Restaurants, Ski Resorts, 


sary adjustments. And 


can sort by price, popu- 


and other things. Select 


when you're ready to 


larity, and name. 


these to see their loca- 


head out, you can print 


Each of these points 


tions on the map, and 


your itinerary and maps 


of interest has a link that 


then click the icons for 


and go. 1 


takes you to prices and 


more information or to 





of possible activities that match your 
idea of fun. In the Interest Guides 
box, click More, and you'll see more 
categories you can peruse. 

The Interest Guides are a great idea 
for people who have specific vacation 
activities in mind, but as of press time 
the actual content was pretty skimpy. 
You might find information here 
lacking, and if you do, be prepared to 
do extra research on another site. 

Final Destination 

Planning a far- ranging trip across 
the country or all over the globe 



doesn't have to be confusing or 
expensive — Yahoo!'s travel tools 
provide just about everything you 
need to make informed decisions re- 
garding lodging, transportation, and 
more. So the next time you decide to 
hit the road, fire up your PC and go 
online first to plot your route, find 
the best attractions, and make your 
travels completely unforgettable. H 

by Nathan Chandler 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 81 



Entertainment 



Yahoo! TV 

Check Your Local Listings & So Much More 



Let's face it: Finding out the 
Prime Time lineup for any 
given night isn't exactly the 
most difficult task we face in our pur- 
suit of entertainment. We can turn to 
TiVo or a DVR with a program guide 
or a newspaper, and there are TV 
channels whose sole purpose is to 
show us what's on other channels. 

It's understandable that Yahool's 
TV section (tv.yahoo.com) may not 
elicit a chorus of hurrahs at first 
glance, but it offers more than what 
time you can catch old episodes of 
"Gunsmoke" on TV Land. Yahoo! TV 
gives you personalized listings for the 
shows in your area, the ability to pro- 
gram your TiVo to record programs 
online, and plenty of extra features 
and information. 

TV Tonight 

The TV Listings section of Yahoo! 
TV is the core of the Web page, and 




you'll find that the bulk of the pro- 
grams, when adjusted for your time 
zone, are accurate. To display 
your local TV listings, click 
the TV Listings link on the 
toolbar at the top of the 
page, enter your ZIP code 
in the empty field, and 
click the Go! button. 

The next page pre- 
sents drop -down menus 
to let you select from 
among the following list- 
ings: Cable, Local, Satellite, 
and Time Zone. (We'll cover 
the Personalized Listings be- 
low.) Select the appropriate listing 
from one of the drop-down menus 
and click the Go! button. Yahoo! TV 
will list the channels in the listing you 
selected and display a three-hour 
block of programming. 

If you click the link for one of the 
programs, Yahoo! TV will display 
any available information about that 
program, including a 
brief synopsis of the 
show and whether it is 
a new airing or a re- 
peat. For example, we 
clicked the link for 
"24," and Yahoo! TV 
retrieved a synopsis of 
the episode, the cast of 
characters, and the fol- 
lowing links: About 
This Series, Photos, 
Related Links, and Up- 
coming Episodes. These 
links provide more in- 
formation and content 
about shows. 

The Add To My Cal- 
endar link is particu- 
larly helpful if you 



frequently use the Yahoo! Calendar to 
plan your day. When you open an 
episode page, click Add To My 
Calendar. Next, sign in with your 
Yahoo! ID and password. Your 
Yahoo! Calendar will open; click Add 
To My Calendar to add the reminder. 
If you want to see a listing of up- 
coming shows, click the date and/or 
time drop -down menus at the top of 
the program listing and click Go!. 

Personalize It 

Maybe catching the latest episode 
of VHl's "Best Week Ever" isn't your 
cup of tea. With a Yahoo! ID, you can 
personalize your TV listing to include 
the shows you want to watch. On the 
Yahoo! TV home page, click Sign In 
and enter your ID and password to 
start customizing. 

Yahoo! TV will present you with 
default listings. (For us, it was Time 
Warner Cable.) Next, click the Edit 
link next to My Personalized Listings 
link at the top of the page. You can 
change the lineup you want to use in 
Step 1 by clicking Change Service 
Provider. Pick the channels you want 
to fill your Favorite Channels list in 
the Available Channels area of Step 2. 
If you want to add NBC, highlight 
NBC, and click Add. 



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Yahoo! TV presents listings for cable and satellite providers in 
your area in an easy-to-read format. 



82 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Entertainment 



Step 3 lets you display your fa- 
vorite channels in My Yahoo!. Click 
the radio button next to one of the 
following options: First 15 Channels, 
First 30 Channels, First 45 Channels, 
or All Favorite Channels. Finally, 
choose a time your favorite shows 
start from the drop-down menu 
and then click Finished to complete 
the process. 

After you create your personal- 
ized listings, Yahoo! TV will re- 
turn you to the default listings. It 
may seem like you didn't cus- 
tomize the listings; click the My 
Personalized Listings link in the 
upper-right corner of the page, 
and Yahoo! TV will load your fa- 
vorite channels. 

Yahoo For Yahoo! &TiVo 

If you find that Yahoo! TV 
presents listings in an inviting 
and easy-to-use fashion and you 
have a TiVo Series2 DVR, you 
can use your Yahoo! ID and 
TiVo user account in concert to 
schedule recordings on your TiVo 
without laying a finger on your re- 
mote control. 

To schedule a recording with Ya- 
hoo! TV, we started at Yahoo! TV's 
home page and clicked Schedule Now 
On TiVo, in the TV Tonight section 
of the page. We clicked Register Now 
and signed in with our Yahoo! ID and 
password. We were redirected to 
TiVo's Web site (www.tivo.com), 
where we entered our TiVo account 
information and clicked Continue. 
We accepted the terms and conditions 
on the next page and clicked OK. We 
clicked Finalize, and our Web brow- 
ser returned to Yahoo! TV. 

Once we combined our Yahoo! ID 
with our TiVo, we opened a Yahoo! 
TV episode page and clicked Record 
To My TiVo Box. On the next page, 
we clicked Record This Episode. We 
selected appropriate options from the 
drop-down menus on the next page 
and clicked Record With These 
Options (such as priority, quality, and 



start time). To return to Yahoo! TV, 
we clicked Finish. According to 
Yahoo! TV, your TiVo Series2 DVR 
will receive the request you created 
the next time it connects. If your 
TiVo has a broadband connection, 
you should allow an hour for sched- 
uling; a dial-up connection requires 
up to 36 hours lead time. 



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Think of setting up favorite channels in Yahoo! TV as a 
spam filter for your TV listings. 



DirecTV subscribers who have 
TiVo's service included with their 
subscription will not be able to use 
Yahoo! TV to schedule recordings. 

Bonus Footage 

Yahoo! TV is much more than a 
glorified online TV Guide. The Daily 
TV Picks page (click Today's Picks at 
the top of the home page) has a 
number of shows Yahoo! recom- 
mends and synopses of each pick. You 
can click the News & Gossip link on 
Yahoo! TV's home page for a quick 
peek at the daily happenings in the 
entertainment world. 

The Yahoo! TV Exclusive on the 
home page frequently lets you get a 
glimpse of the first 10 minutes of an 
upcoming TV program. Click the 
drop-down menu in this section for 
more Yahoo! TV features. 

To see how your favorite show 
stacked up against other shows in the 
TV universe or if you're curious 



about what the rest of the nation is 
tuning into, click the Ratings link. 
Yahoo! TV lists the top 20 most 
highly rating programs according to 
the most recently-released Nielsen 
Media Research ratings. 

You can use the TV listings to 
reach your favorite program's page, 
but Yahoo!'s TV Show Database 
might be a quicker way. Click 
the TV Show Database link and 
then the link for the first letter 
of the show you want to access. 
For example, we accessed CBS's 
"Without a Trace" by clicking W 
and Without A Trace. 

Soap Opera addicts can rely on 
Yahoo! TV for recaps of their fa- 
vorite soaps and a host of other 
resources. Click the Soap Operas 
link at the top of the page. On the 
Soap Operas page, you can in- 
dulge yourself with recaps from a 
number of soaps. To view news, 
gossip, or spoilers about your fa- 
vorite soap, click its link from the 
list on the left-hand column of 
the Soap Operas page. 
You can also share your thoughts 
about the latest plot developments 
or speculate on future events by 
posting to your soap's message 
board. Click the Soaps Message 
Boards link to access each show's re- 
spective message board. 

The Other Web TV 

Yahoo! TV matches its broad se- 
lection of TV listings with a platter 
of content that should satisfy your 
inner channel surfer. Upcoming 
episode previews give you a taste of 
what to expect from your favorite 
shows, while message boards let you 
relive moments with fellow fans. 
And by letting you customize your 
listings, Yahoo! TV lets you take 
control of finding your favorite 
shows to watch faster. Qjs] 

BY VlNCE COGLEY 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 83 



Entertainment 



The Buzz Index 

Yahoo! Keeps Tabs On Today's Water Cooler Subjects 




If you're always the last to know 
what's going on in the world, 
Yahoo! may have just what you 
need. The Yahoo! Buzz Index (buzz 
.yahoo.com) keeps track of the most 
popular search subjects and posts 
them in category views for easy navi- 
gation. With information on the 
latest Hollywood gossip, video 
games, and world news headlines, 
the Yahoo! Buzz Index will help keep 
you in the loop. 

The main page of the Yahoo! Buzz 
Index has three primary sections. At 
the top of the page, there are links 
to the main categories that sort 
the search results for convenient 
viewing. The names of these cate- 
gories are Overall, TV, Music, 
Sports, Movies, Actors, and Video 
Games. The left column of the site 
houses the Today's Top Movers 
charts to show the most popular 
topics in each of these categories. In 
the center of the Buzz Index page, 
you'll find the Yahoo! Buzz Log, 
which provides commentary about 
the most popular searches. 



In order to get the most out of the 
Yahoo! Buzz Index, you must be able 
to speak Yahoo!'s language. A sub- 
ject's Buzz Score is the percentage 
of users searching for a subject 
on any given day. This score 
determines if a subject is a 
Breakout!, Buzz Mover, or 
Buzz Leader. If a term moves 
from very few searches one 
day to a large number of 
searches the next, it is referred 
to as a Breakout!. Similar to a 
Breakout!, a Buzz Mover is a sub- 
ject with the greatest percentage in- 
crease in Buzz Score from one 
day to the next. Terms with 
Breakout! status top the list of 
Buzz Movers. Finally, the term 
Buzz Leader describes subjects 
with the high Buzz Score for any 
given day. 

Stay Safe & Clean 

Given that the information for 
the Yahoo! Buzz Index comes 
from Yahoo! search log files, some 
people may be leery of their privacy 
when searching Yahoo!. Not to worry: 
the Yahoo! Buzz Index site states, 
"Individual users and their searches 
remain completely anonymous." 

Other viewers may be concerned 
about stumbling across buzz-worthy 
searches that aren't family- friendly. 
After all, not all Web users have a 
clean mind. To combat faulty or inde- 
cent information, editors filter all in- 
formation on the Yahoo! Buzz Index. 



Timely Information 

Because news is really only 'news' 
for a short period of time, Yahoo! 



updates the Buzz Index each week- 
day. The only downside is the Buzz 
Index reflects searches made two 
days prior. For example, the Buzz 
Index displayed on Wednesday is ac- 
tually a summary of the searches that 
took place on Monday. The delay is 
due to data processing times. Yahoo! 
publishes the Buzz Index Weekly 
Report every Sunday, which recaps 
the top 20 searches from the week 
and offers commentary regarding re- 
cent buzz activity. 

Most Popular 

With a range of categories, the 
Yahoo! Buzz Index can keep you up- 
to-date with all of the latest news. Our 
favorite section of the Yahoo! Buzz 
Index is the Links area near the 
bottom of the main Buzz page, which 
lets you see the Most-Viewed News 
and Most-Emailed News. Here, we 



Links 

■ Most-viewed news 

■ Most-emailed news 



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More RSS 



View the most popular news headlines with the 
Links section of the Yahoo! Buzz Index. 



can keep current on what people 
around the world find the most in- 
triguing and view- worthy. 

Keep Current 

Considering all of the things we do 
each day, it can be hard to stay up-to- 
date with all of the latest news. By uti- 
lizing data from searches around the 
world, the Yahoo! Buzz Index pro- 
vides an effective way to track the 
subjects that people around the world 
find most interesting, [rs] 

by Jennifer Johnson 



84 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Yahoo! Mail 

Send & Receive Email From Nearly Anywhere 



Before Web -based email, 
you pretty much had to 
be at home to check 
your email. By allowing you 
to access an email account 
over the Web, Web-based 
email suddenly made it 
possible to check your 
email at a friend's house, 
at a public library, or 
even at work. (Don't 
worry, we won't tell.) 

In October 1997, Yahoo! 
Mail began offering users free 
Web-based email accounts. Since 
those early days, the company has 
made minor tweaks and increased 
storage limits, but the basics of the 
service remain largely intact (al- 
though that's about to change; see 
"Coming Soon" sidebar for more in- 
formation). We'll show you what 
Yahoo! Mail has to offer and how to 
use its growing list of features. 

Sign Up 

If you have a Yahoo! ID, you prob- 
ably already have a Ya- 
hoo! Mail account. If 
you're not sure whether 
or not you have a Ya- 
hoo! Mail account, visit 
mail.yahoo.com and 
provide your Yahoo! ID 
and password. If you 
already have a Yahoo! 
Mail account, you'll see 
a welcome message. If 
not, all you need to do 
is enter your first and 
last name and click 
Create Free Account. If 
you don't yet have a 
Yahoo! ID, click Sign 




Up from the Yahoo! Mail login screen 
and provide the requested informa- 
tion. See "Identify Yourself on page 
20 for more information about cre- 
ating a Yahoo! ID. 

Up Front 

Before you start sending and re- 
ceiving email, we have to talk about 



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The Yahoo! Mail Welcome screen informs you of any new emails. Inbox and other 
folders are listed on the left side of the screen. 



storage limitations, inactive accounts, 
and other service limitations. Each 
Yahoo! Mail account has a 1GB 
storage capacity. Yahoo! Mail will 
warn you when you reach 
70% and 90% of your 
storage capacity. You'll 
receive a final warning 
when you reach your limit. 
Incoming emails will be 
bounced back to the sender 
until you clear out old email. 
Alternatively, you can upgrade to 
Yahoo! Mail Plus for $19.99 a year 
and get an extra 1GB of storage. 

If you opt to delete old messages, 
bear in mind that deleted messages 
are moved to the Trash and still 
count toward your storage limit. 
Messages aren't actually removed 
until you log back in to your account 
after six hours or more of inactivity. 
That means if you delete emails from 
your inbox and then don't check 
your account again for two or three 
days, any messages you receive dur- 
ing that time will continue to bounce. 
Click Empty next to the Trash folder 
on the left side of the 
page to permanently 
remove any emails in 
your Trash folder. 

Yahoo! deactivates 
any Mail account that 
is dormant for four 
months, so try to log 
in at least once every 
four months. You 
cannot retrieve any 
information from de- 
activated accounts. 

Finally, there are 
some limits on sending 
and receiving mes- 
sages. You cannot send 



^^ — \ 




Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 85 



c 



or receive an email larger then 10MB. 
When sending attachments, you're 
also limited to 50 attachments per 
message. Both limits are rather gen- 
erous and should only pose a problem 
in extreme circumstances. 

Get The Message 

Yahoo! automatically logs you out 
after six hours of inactivity, so you'll 
probably need to log in each time you 
want to check your mail. This might 
seem inconvenient, but it'll come in 
handy if you forget to log out at your 
local library. 

Once you sign on, you'll see a 
Welcome screen that informs you of 
any new messages you've received. 
You'll see a set of default folders on 
the left side of the page. To read new 
messages, click the Inbox folder or 
the Check Mail button. 

When you click the Inbox, you'll 
see the sender, subject, date, and 
message size for each email. By de- 
fault, messages are sorted by date 
with newer messages near the top. 
You can click any column headers to 
sort messages by sender, subject, or 
size. Unread messages appear in 
bold. To read a message, click the 
subject line. 

To delete an open message, click 
the Delete button. Likewise, you can 
reply to or forward a message by 
clicking the appropriate button. Any 
email attachments appear at the 
bottom of the message. Options differ 
depending on the file attached, but 
you always have the option to down- 
load the attachment to your PC. 
Alternatively, you can save images to 
Yahoo! Photos and other files to your 
Yahoo! Briefcase. 

Click the Inbox folder on the left 
to return to the inbox (or click your 
Web browser's Back button). To 
delete multiple messages at once, 
place a check in the box next to each 
message you want to delete and then 
click the Delete button in the upper 
left of the email. When you delete a 
message, that message gets moved to 



your Trash folder where it is eventu- 
ally removed automatically. 

To send an email, click the 
Compose button (available from 
most pages within Yahoo! Mail) in 
the upper-left corner. Provide an 
email address in the To text box and a 
subject for the message in the Subject 
box. Type your message and click 
Send below the email's text box. 

Organize Your Email 

If you retain a lot of email, it's best 
to create folders for archiving the new 
messages. To create a 
new folder, click the 
Add link above the 
Inbox and enter a name 
for the new folder. The 
new folder appears be- 
neath the default fold- 
ers under the heading 
My Folders. 

Once you've created 
a folder, you can move 
a message to a folder 
by opening a message, 
clicking Move, and se- 
lecting the appropriate 
folder. Alternatively, 
you can move multiple 
messages to a folder by 
placing a check next to 
each message you want 
to move, clicking 
Move, and selecting 
the appropriate folder. 

If you receive a lot 
of email, manually 
moving messages can 
become tedious. You 
can set up a filter to 
sort incoming mail 
into the proper folder 
automatically. Filters 
carry out predetermined actions 
when they find designated keywords 
in specific parts of the message. To 
set up a filter, click the Options link 
in the upper-right corner, click 
Filters in the Management section, 
click the Add button, and provide a 
name for the filter. If you want to 



create a filter that places messages 
from a specific person into a specific 
folder, select Contains in the From 
Header drop-down box. In the next 
field, enter the name or email ad- 
dress of the contact whose emails 
you want to filter. At the bottom of 
the page, select the proper folder 
from the Move The Message To 
drop-down list. 

Spam 

If you have an email address, you 
probably have a spam problem. 



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Creating a filter helps funnel messages into the proper folder. 
You can filter incoming messages based on whether or not 
certain keywords are present in the From, To/Cc, Subject, or body 
of the messages that you receive. 



Spam refers to any unsolicited email 
that's usually sent to thousands of 
users at once. Yahoo! Mail's Spam- 
Guard service helps shield your 
inbox from spam by automatically 
placing bulk messages in a special 
Bulk folder where messages are 
deleted after 30- days. 



86 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



c 



Of course, not all bulk email is 
spam, and Yahoo! tries to make ex- 
ceptions for legitimate bulk email 
(such as newsletters users willingly 
subscribe to). In some instances, 
however, Yahoo! may place legitimate 
bulk email in your Bulk folder. If this 
happens, you can forward a copy of 
the message to Yahoo! by clicking the 
Not Spam button. Placing the sender 
in your online address book should 
increase the odds of Yahoo! delivering 
the message correctly. 

If Yahoo! keeps sending important 
messages to your Bulk folder, you can 
create a filter to automatically place 
the message in an appropriate folder. 
If you decide you don't want to use 
SpamGuard, click Options, click 
Spam Protection, and click Turn 
SpamGuard Off. Remember, how- 
ever, that turning off SpamGuard 
may result in more spam reaching 
your inbox. 

Extra Email Address 

Yahoo! Mail now offers each user 
a second email address. This is per- 
fect if you don't like your current 
Yahoo! ID and wish you had some- 
thing a little snappier. Note that this 
isn't a second email account, but a 
second address. Email sent to either 
address will appear in the same 
inbox. Also note that in order to 
fight spam, Yahoo! limits each user 
to two changes per year. 

To configure a second email 
address, click Options and click 
Mail Addresses at the top of the 
Management section. At the bottom of 
the screen, click the Get Started link 
under Extra Email Address. You can 
enter a new address or select a sug- 
gested address. You can use either your 
original Yahoo! ID or the new email 
address you created to log in to Yahoo! 
Mail. You can also select which address 
to use for the return address when 
sending an email. Click the From field 
and select the address you want to use. 

If you decide you don't like the 
new address, open Mail Address in 



Coming Soon 

Changes are coming to Yahoo! 
Mail. In September 2005, the 
company began testing a new 
version of Yahoo! Mail that will 
feature technologies acquired 
when Yahoo! purchased Oddpost 
in July 2004. The new Yahoo! Mail 
relies heavily on Dynamic HTML, 
XML, and SOAP to create a fast 
and efficient user interface. 
Changes include the ability to 
scroll through messages (no more 
clicking through multiple pages) 
and a reading pane to instantly 
view messages. Users will also be 
able to keep up with the latest 
news from their favorite sites using 
integrated RSS feeds. If you want to 
give the beta version a whirl, you'll 
need to put yourself on the waiting 
list. Visit whatsnew.mail.yahoo.com 
and click the Get On The Waiting 
List link. I 



the Options page again, select the 
extra email address, and click Delete. 
You can now create a new email 
address if you want (but again, re- 
member that you can only change this 
address twice in a year). 

Maintain Contact 

Yahoo! includes an online Address 
Book that's tightly integrated into 
Yahoo! Mail. For each contact, you 
can include a name, email addresses, 
street address, multiple phone num- 
bers, IM usernames, birthdays, an- 
niversaries, and even short notes. 

To add a contact, click the Ad- 
dresses tab near the top of the Yahoo! 
Mail page, click the Add Contact 
button at the top of the page, and pro- 
vide as much of the information as 
you desire. When finished, click Save 
or Save And Add Another at the 
bottom of the screen. Adding contacts 
one at a time, however, can take some 
time. You can harvest email addresses 



from your Yahoo! Inbox by clicking 
the QuickBuilder button. Select the 
folders you want to scan for email ad- 
dresses and select the proper options, 
such as Show Only Emails That 
Appear More Than Once. 

If you have contact information col- 
lected in Microsoft Outlook/ Outlook 
Express, Palm Desktop, or Netscape, 
you can import this data into Yahoo! 
Address Book. You can also import 
data from a Yahoo! Address Book 
(handy if you're moving to a new 
Yahoo! Mail account). To import in- 
formation, click the Import/Export link 
on the top right of the page. Next, 
select the program you want to export 
data from in the drop-down list. At this 
point, you'll have to open the program 
you're exporting data from and create 
an export file. Click the link for your 
program on the right side of the page 
to find out how to export a file from 
that program. Next, click the Browse 
button, select the export file you cre- 
ated in the other program, and click 
the Import Now button. 

You can also export your Yahoo! 
contact information for use in one 
of the programs listed above. To ex- 
port your contact list, scroll down to 
the Export section, click the button 
next to the proper application, and 
select a location to save the file. 
Click the proper link under Help 
Exporting To for information on 
how to import your contact data 
into the proper application. 

To use your Address Book when 
composing email, click the Compose 
button and then click the To link. If 
there's no email address included for 
a contact, it'll be grayed out. Select 
an available contact and check the 
checkbox. (You can opt to add the 
contact to the To, Cc, or Bcc lines.) 

As you can see, Yahoo! Mail isn't 
difficult to use. Once you become fa- 
miliar with it, you'll enjoy being able 
to check your email from nearly any 
Internet-connected PC. Qjs] 

by Chad Denton 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 87 



c 



Stay 



In Touch With 
Yahoo! Messenger 

Instant Message, Voice Chat & More 




We don't have to tell you 
that the Internet is a fan- 
tastic communications 
medium. It started simply enough 
with email and IRC (Internet Relay 
Chat) chat rooms. Soon, instant mes- 
saging networks combined the imme- 
diacy of IRC with the relative privacy 
of email. Today, all the big Internet 
players have their own instant mes- 
saging networks. In this article we'll 
explore the Yahoo! instant messaging 
network and show you how Yahoo! 
Messenger can keep you in touch with 
friends and family. 

Install The Software 

Before we start typing or talking, we 
need to download and install Yahoo! 
Messenger. You can download Yahoo! 
Messenger at messenger.yahoo.com. 
Click Get It Now and follow the direc- 
tions on the next page. When the 
Welcome screen appears, click Next to 
continue. If you don't want Messenger 
to install Yahoo! Toolbar and Yahoo! 



Extras, click Custom Install at 
the top of the window and re- 
move the checkmarks next 
to Yahoo! Toolbar and 
Yahoo! Extras. You'll also 
need to clear the last two 
checkboxes if you don't 
want the installer to 
make Yahoo! your default 
home page and/or browser 
search engine. After clicking 
the Next button, read and 
agree to the license agreement. 
Yahoo! does collect and use some in- 
formation from Messenger users, but 
most of this information is integral to 
the software's functionality (such as 
tracking your availability status). To 
read more about what information 
Yahoo! uses, follow the link. Click 
Next to begin installing the software. 
You will need to download additional 
components before you begin in- 
stalling the software. 

Sign In 

The first time you run 
Yahoo! Messenger, it will ask 
you for a Yahoo! ID and pass- 
word. If you don't have a 
Yahoo! ID yet, click the Get A 
Yahoo! ID button. 

Depending on your network 
setup, you may have trouble 
signing on to Yahoo! Mes- 
senger. If you receive an error 
message, close the error mes- 
sage dialog box, click Mes- 
senger, select Preferences, and 
click Connection on the left 
side of the Yahoo! Messenger 



Preferences window. If you're behind 
a firewall, select Firewall With No 
Proxies. If you use a proxy server, se- 
lect Use Proxies and enter the relevant 
information. (A proxy server passes 
information between your computer 
and the Internet; if you're connecting 
from home, you're probably not 
using one.) If all else fails, try selecting 
No Network Detection. Click OK to 
save your settings. If Messenger asks if 
it's OK to log in again, select OK. 

Layout 

At the top of the Yahoo! Messenger 
window is your current status. Your 
status determines whether or not 
you're available to receive IMs (in- 
stant messages). By default, Mes- 
senger sets your status to Available. 
To change your status, click your cur- 
rent status and select a new status 
(such as Busy or Be Right Back) from 
the drop -down list. 

The Messenger List appears beneath 
your status and includes a list of 
friends you can communicate with. 
Online friends are denoted by an illu- 
minated smiley face. Your friend's 
status will appear next to her name if 
it's set to anything other than Avail- 
able. We'll talk about adding new 
friends to the list in the next section. 

At the bottom of the Messenger 
window, you'll see a special section 
that lets you interact with other 
Yahoo! services such as Yahoo! Music 
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Before your friends can add you to their Messenger 
List, you need to give them permission. You may also 
select to add your friend to your Messenger List when 
you grant permission (if you haven't already). 



88 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



c 



the bottom of the window to explore 
the other options. 

Add A Friend 

Click the smiley face icon in the 
Messenger window to add a contact. 
It's best to use a Yahoo! ID for your 
friend if you know they have one. If 
not, provide an email address for 
your friend. 

You need your friend's permission 
before you can add him to your 
Messenger List. If you provided a 
Yahoo! ID, your friend will receive 
your request the next time he logs in 
to Messenger. If you sent a request 
to your friend's email address, he'll 
receive an email request with a link 
to approve the request. (He'll have a 
chance to sign up for a Yahoo! ID 
and download Messenger if he 
hasn't already.) 

Once you have permission to add 
a contact, you'll be able to see 
whether or not your friend is online 
and whether she's available to re- 
ceive IMs. To send an IM, double- 
click an available contact. You can 
also send messages to friends that 
are offline, but they will not receive 
your message until the next time 
they log in. You can also bring to- 
gether multiple friends using the 
conference option. To create a con- 
ference, double-click one of the 
friends you wish to invite and then 
click the Conference button. Add 
other friends to the Invitation List 
and click Invite when finished. 
Invited parties have the option of 
declining the invitation. 

Voice 

Like most IM clients, Yahoo! 
Messenger lets you talk rather than 
type. You can place a call to another 
PC or cell/landline phone. You'll 
need a microphone, soundcard, and 
speakers, as well as Internet Explorer 
5 or later, 64MB of RAM, and a 
Pentium- class processor. You won't be 
able to use Messenger's voice features 



if you use a proxy server to connect to 
the Internet. 

PC-to-PC. Calling another com- 
puter is relatively painless. If you're 
already in an IM conversation with 
someone and you decide you want 
to speak directly to them, click the 
Call button at the top of the IM 
window. Alternatively, you can click 
a contact from your Messenger List 
and then click the phone icon in the 
main Messenger window. The first 
time you make a voice connection, 
Messenger will ask if you want to 
run the Call Setup Assistant to prop- 
erly configure your PC's micro- 
phone and speakers. 

Your friend will receive a pop-up 
notice. She can then click Accept, 
Decline, or IM Only. If she accepts the 
call, Hold and End Call buttons will 
appear in the IM window. If the other 
person declines or simply fails to an- 
swer, you'll have the option to record 
a brief (two minute) voice mail. 

If you prefer, you can use Messen- 
ger to create a voice conference 
among multiple contacts. To create a 
voice conference, double-click a 
contact you want to invite and click 
the Conference button. Add other 
users you want to invite, select 
Enable Voice Chat For This Confer- 
ence, and click Invite. 

PC-to-phone. Messenger is ca- 
pable of connecting to traditional 
phones as well through Net2Phone. 
In order to place a Net2Phone 
call, however, you'll need a Yahoo! 
Phone Card (phonecard.yahoo.com). 
Cards are available in $10, $25, and 
$50 denominations. 

To place a call, click Actions in 
the Messenger window and click 
Place A Net2Phone Call. Enter the 
phone number in the Call Center 
and click the Call button. Enter your 
Yahoo! password, and an alert mes- 
sage will tell you how much the call 
will cost per minute and how much 
you have remaining on your Yahoo! 
Phone Card. Click the Place Call 
button to place the call and press the 
Hang Up button when finished. 



Share 

Yahoo! Messenger makes it easier 
to collaborate with friends or col- 
leagues by letting you share files 
through Messenger. There are no re- 
strictions on what file types you can 
share, but if you or your friend is be- 
hind a firewall that restricts peer-to- 
peer file transfers, you are restricted 
to files less than 100MB in size. 

To share a file, click the Send File 
button in the IM window. (Alterna- 
tively, right-click a friend in your 
Messenger List, select More Actions, 
and click Send A File.) Select a file 
and click the Open button. 

Your friend always has the option 
to refuse a file, but if he accepts you'll 
begin the transfer. You can continue 
to IM as the file transfers. 

Pictures. With digital cameras be- 
coming so popular, Messenger added a 
new picture sharing feature. To share 
pictures from your hard drive, click 
the Photos button in the IM window. 

If your friend accepts you invitation 
to share pictures, a new picture sidebar 
will appear on both computers. Either 
of you can add pictures by clicking the 
Add Pictures button. In the lower- 
right corner, you'll see a thumbnail of 
the image your friend is viewing. Click 
the Friend's View button to display the 
same image in your IM picture win- 
dow. You can continue your chat as 
you share each picture. 

You can also share pictures from 
Yahoo! Photos. To share all the pic- 
tures in an album, sign in to photos 
.yahoo.com, select the album, and 
click the Share Album button. Click 
the Share By Messenger link and click 
the Share Photos button. Select a 
friend from the list to send an invita- 
tion. You can also share a specific 
photo by clicking the photo and then 
clicking the Share Photo button. 

Special Features 

Like most IM clients, Yahoo! 
Messenger includes a handful of fea- 
tures to help spice up your IMs. 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 89 



c 



Emoticons, which are used to denote 
emotion in text messages, are a com- 
mon enhancement found in nearly all 
IM clients. To add an emoticon, click 
the smiley icon between the conversa- 
tion and input fields and select an ap- 
propriate emoticon. 

The lips icon brings up a list of 
sound clips accompanied by animated 
characters called Audibles. If the field 
between the conversation and input 
fields is blank, click the More Audibles 
button, select See All Audibles, and 
click a category. For instance, select the 
Helios category to send an Audible 
greeting. Hover over a character to pre- 
view the Audible and click the Send 
button that appears over a character to 
send the Audible. Click the lips icon 
again to hide the Audibles field. 

The format icon lets you select a 
font, font size, and font color. You can 
also opt to bold, underline, or italicize 
text. Next to the format icon is the buzz 
icon. Buzzing someone is a handy way 
to get their attention, as it plays a 
sound and shakes the other person's 
window. If your friends abuse this op- 
tion, you can disable it. Click Messen- 
ger in the Yahoo! Messenger window 
and select Preferences. Click Alerts & 
Sounds on the left of the window and 
select A Messenger Contact Buzzes Me. 
Set the options accordingly. 

Finally, Yahoo! offers several IM- 
Vironments that alter the appearance 
of the IM window and may add new 
interactive content. Most of the IM- 
Vironments are commercial in nature, 
but a few provide some helpful fea- 
tures. The Travelocity IMVironment, 
for instance, includes links for finding 
flights, hotels, and rental cars. To add 
an IMVironment, click the IMViron- 
ment button, select See All IMVi- 
ronments, and pick an IMVironment 
from one of the listed categories. IM- 
Vironments appear in all IM windows 
associated with a conversation. 

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Once you've received permission from your 
friends, you'll be able to see who's available 
for IM and who's not. Contacts with a smiley 
face are available for IM unless they've set 
their status to busy. 



Yahoo! Messenger, but they aren't the 
only ways. You can also send text 
messages to a friend's cell phone or 
join online chat rooms. 

Most cell phones include some sort 
of text messaging capabilities. To send 
a text message, you must have a mo- 
bile phone number for that contact 
entered in Messenger. To add a phone 



number, click the Address Book tab 
in Yahoo! Messenger. Double-click 
the contact and click View/Edit 
Contact Details. In the Primary tab, 
enter the cell phone number in the 
Mobile field and click Save & Close. 

To send a text message, click the cell 
phone icon above your Messenger list. 
Contacts that include a mobile phone 
number are listed in the My Contacts 
tab. If you want to send a text message 
to someone who isn't in your Messen- 
ger List, click Other Contacts and enter 
the proper phone number. You can 
enter up to 150 characters, and Yahoo! 
recommends sending as long a mes- 
sage as possible to reduce the number 
of text messages you send. Remember 
that the recipient might have to pay for 
each incoming message. For that 
reason, the recipient may also elect not 
to receive text messages. 

Chat rooms. If IM is like a telephone 
conversation, chat rooms are like a big 
public forum. Yahoo! operates several 
chat rooms that anyone can enter and 
participate in. To enter a chat room, 
click Messenger in the Yahoo! Mes- 
senger window, select Yahoo! Chat, 
and click Join A Room. Select a cate- 
gory (Recreation & Sports, for in- 
stance) and then select a chat room. In 
some instances, there might be mul- 
tiple rooms with the same name. Click 
the plus sign (+) next to a room to see 
similar rooms. (The number behind 
each listing indicates the number of 
people currently participating.) Click a 
room and click the Go To Room 
button to begin participating. 

Stay In Touch 

Thanks to the Internet, there are 
more ways to stay in touch with friends 
and family. Using Yahoo! Messenger, 
you can send IMs and even talk to your 
friends and family through your PC. 
It's a great way to stay in touch and cut 
down on your phone bill, [rs] 

by Chad Denton 



90 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



c 



Yahoo! Chat 



Talk It Up 



Chat rooms took the 
c Net by storm long 
before IM (instant 
message) applications en- 
tered the scene. Unlike IM 
programs, which let users send 
messages to their friends, you 
don't need to know anyone to 
enter a chat room. As soon as you 
enter the room, you'll see all the 
messages that other people send to 
that room's message window. 

In many cases, chat room conver- 
sations are relatively benign. But chat 
room screen names mask user identi- 
ties, which sometimes attract users 
who have sinister motives, especially 
in situations where children are pre- 
sent. After an investigation by the 
New York State Attorney's office into 
inappropriate activity in Yahoo! chat 
rooms, the Web portal closed its Teen 
chat category. It also denies chat 
room access to users under 18. 
According to Yahoo!, it also records 
chat room users' IP addresses. It 
doesn't share the information with 
other users, but, as Yahoo!'s Chat 
Help states: "Users should never as- 
sume that they are anonymous and 
cannot be identified by Yahoo!." 

Thanks to Yahoo!'s no-nonsense 
actions in the chat rooms, you can 
chat without encountering much 
trouble from other chatters. That's 
not to say that you should let down 
your guard in chat rooms — you 
should take messages from other 
chatters with a grain of salt in any 
chat room, whether in Yahoo! 's con- 
fines or elsewhere on the Web. If you 
approach the chat rooms with the 
proper attitude, you'll find that you 
can have rewarding conversations 
with like-minded chatters, day or 




night. We'll show you the ropes of 
meeting people in Yahoo! Chat. 

Find A Chat Room 

You'll need to register a free Yahoo! 
ID before you can make any online 
friends in Yahoo!'s chat rooms. To 
learn more about signing up for a 
Yahoo! ID, see the article "Identify 
Yourself on page 20. If you want to 
use a name other than your Yahoo! 
ID, you can add a nickname (which 
appears instead of your ID) in your 
Yahoo! profile. In fact, you can create 
multiple profiles (and thus, multiple 
nicknames) and then choose a profile 
in the Join Room menu. 

Yahoo! lets users enter its chat 
rooms via three chat tools: Yahoo! 
Chat 2.0, Yahoo! Java, and Yahoo! 
Messenger (see "Stay In Touch With 
Yahoo! Messenger" on page 88 for 
more information about Messenger). 
You'll probably need to install the 
latest version of Java (www.java.com) 
to access the chat rooms via Chat 2.0 
or Java. You'll need to install Yahoo! 
Messenger if you want to use that pro- 
gram to enter the chat rooms. 

To enter the chat rooms via your 
browser, click All Y! Services on 
Yahoo!'s main page and then click 



Chat. Enter your Yahoo! ID and pass- 
word, and then choose a category 
from the main Yahoo! Chat page. The 
page offers Featured Rooms and links 
to international chat rooms, but 
you'll find many great chat rooms by 

browsing the Chat Categories on 

the left side of the page. 

Before you enter a room, you'll 

need to choose the chat tool from the 

Chat Software field that appears at 

the top of the Yahoo! Chat pages. By 

default, the field displays Chat 2.0. 

When you click the field's arrow, 

you can choose Java or Messenger. 

Chat 2.0 and Messenger are similar, 
feature-rich tools, while the Java chat 
tool has a more streamlined interface. 
Unless you don't use Messenger, 
you'll probably prefer the program's 
easy-to- manage chat windows. 

You can also choose a chat room di- 
rectly from Yahoo! Messenger, thanks 
to an icon on the contact list's Mes- 
senger tab. In some cases, you'll need 
to click the arrows to the right of the 
other icons to find it. You'll find the 
same category and subcategory lists 
that's on the Yahoo! Chat Web page. 

Once you choose the software, 
double-click the room you want to 
enter. A window will display a large 
ad and a small connection bar that in- 
dicates whether you have connected 
to the room. Once it connects, click 
Enter. Now it's time to start chatting. 

Chat It Up 

Even users who have never tried a 
chat program before will quickly learn 
their way around Chat 2.0's interface. 
All messages from the chatters in 
your room appear in the large chat 
window. The newest messages appear 
at the bottom of the window. 

When you're ready to add your two 
cents to the conversation, click the 
empty text field below the chat 
window and type your message. If 
your browser is IE (Internet Explorer), 
you can send the message to the chat 
window by pressing the ENTER key. 
Otherwise, you can send the message 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 91 



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You are in Computers Lobby: 1 



Chatters 



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joined the room. 
Chuck (cputech1976) joined the room. 
Connecting to the audio chat server... 
Voice Chat Stopped 
Voice Error:[(0) ] 
Voice ErronyacsNolnput 
Shadowgurl: w 

jaydee1677: nope never found anything 
i-aihid_yijuit'.arii left the 100m 
HMP: hmmm 

TINTIN (tintin_captain) joined the room. 
HMP: lemme check some stuff 
jaydee1677: lol @ dutchies nic 



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Report Abuse 



Chat 2.0's chat rooms include smilies, colorful fonts, and great features, such as the IM (instant 
message) button, which lets you send a private message to any chatter in the room. 



by clicking the Send button. When 
you send the message, every chatter in 
the room will see it. Several icons 
above the message field let you bold or 
italicize your message or choose font 
sizes and colors. Aside from typing in 
all capital letters (many chatters use all 
caps to represent shouting), feel free 
to customize your font. A unique font 
or color will let people easily find your 
text amid the other messages. 

In some case, you may have trouble 
finding words that accurately describe 
how you feel (for example, you may 
want to make sure someone knows 
that you're not sending a message out 
of anger). If you want to show a par- 
ticular emotion, try out Chat 2.0's 
smilies, Yahool's animated emo- 
ticons. Simply click the smiley 
face next to the font field and 
then choose one of the smilies 
that appear. When you click it, a 
text representation of the smiley 
will appear in your text field. 
Click the Send button to send the 
smiley to the chat window. You 
can find more emotions by 
clicking the Emotions button in 
the Chatters menu. When you 
click one of these emotions, your 
name and a short message will 
appear in the chat window. For 
example, the Hug emotion dis- 
plays "[your name] gives every- 
one a big hug." 

So who is in the room with 
you? You'll find all chatter IDs in 



the Chatters box that appears on the 
right. If you think you recognize a 
friend and want to check out that chat- 
ter's profile to be sure, right-click the 
chatter's name and then click View 
Profiles. You can also send a private 
message to your friend by highlighting 
her name and then clicking the IM 
button. This message appears on your 
contact's screen in a small window. 

Customize Your Yahoo! Chat Page 

Chances are you'll visit a few chat 
rooms regularly. If you want to 
access those rooms without brows- 
ing the category lists, add them to 
your Favorites section on the main 



Yahoo! Chat Abuse Report 

Yahoo! Chat > Abuse Report 



Yahoo! - 



1. What is your email address? 

Email address: \^_ 



J 



. .. ........... .... ., .. 

2. What is your Yahoo! ID? 

Yahoo! ID jguli ckl 23 



This is your cha >e the top name 

y-s: :;■:::<:, wzrz yev sdc:::i who yo? ?:;>;: cl\vai\;i; as. 



3. What happened? 



Abuser's ID: Q 



J 



This is the esacl lusing problems. 

Room name: Computers Lobby:1 3 

This is the name abuse occurred. 

Brief Synopsis of the Abuse: 

! _"f:" '.■;;: wz.:ii':i}i;/or::zc wi'::. ft.;: ;;,:;:.::;;::. detftL AS \'w: ;:;■::. .vrc-TOJ ft . 



Yahoo! Chat page. To add a chat 
room favorite, click the Edit link 
under My Chat. Next, browse the 
categories list that appears (the same 
list appears on the main Yahoo! 
Chat page). As you choose chat 
rooms, they'll appear in a Your 
Choices list. Click the Finished 
button to add your selections to the 
Favorite Rooms category. 

However, you'll find that Chat 2.0's 
Favorite Rooms list won't include any 
of the rooms that you added to the 
Yahoo! Chat main page. If you want 
to be able to switch directly from one 
chat room to another favorite room, 
you'll need to visit each of your fa- 
vorite chat rooms. In each chat room, 
you'll need to click Favorite Rooms 
(above the chat window) and then 
click Add To Favorites. 

Clean Up The Trash 

Yahoo! chat rooms aren't particu- 
larly raucous, but as with any chat 
room service, you'll run into abusive 
chatters more than once in your chat- 
ting career. Luckily, all of the Chat in- 
terfaces have a simple and effective fix: 
the Ignore button that sits just below 
the interface's chatter list. When you se- 
lect a chatter's name and click Ignore, 
you won't see any text from that 
chatter — including text that al- 
ready appeared in the chat win- 
dow. Click the button again to 
reinstate the chatter's text. Every 
chat room also has a Report Abuse 
link (just above the Send button) 
that takes users to Yahool's Chat 
Abuse Report form. 

The Last Word 

Dive in and make some 
friends. Although you won't see 
other chatters face-to-face, 
you'll quickly find yourself cre- 
ating a group of good, if face- 
less, online buddies. [bsI 



Don't let unruly chatters take over your favorite chat 
room. Yahoo's Abuse Report lets chatters police the online 
chatting community. 



by Joshua Gulick 



92 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



c 



Fun Comes 
Full Circle 



Yahoo! 360° Simplifies 
Online Socializing 



There are a lot of ways to 
make new friends and 
business contacts on- 
line, but in many cases you'll 
burn hours or days trying to 
find the right kinds of people. 
With Yahoo! 360° (360.yahoo 
.com), social networking is fast 
and easy. Best of all, Yahoo! 360° 
is totally free. 

Smart Social Networks 

With your Yahoo 360° page, you 
create a profile of your interests, start a 
blog, and share photos of your life with 
other members of the Yahoo! commu- 
nity. Your 360° account helps you 
create photo albums where you can 
store your digital image collection, 
organize pictures into galleries, and 
then share those galleries with your 
friends and family. Using a mobile 
phone, you can upload text and photos 
directly to your blog without the need 
for a computer. Another tool lets you 
compile lists of recommended movies, 
books, music, or any other subject 
you'd like spout off about. If you want 
to tap your inner critic, you can write 
up reviews about local restaurants or 
other businesses in your area. 

When words and photos just aren't 
enough, Yahoo! empowers you to 
build your own radio station. With 
this feature, you don't just tell your 
friends about great music — you can 
play songs for them right on the Web. 

If any of these features sounds inter- 
esting to you, it may be time to start 




your own 360° page. We'll highlight 
each of the tools that 360° offers and 
show you how to engage its capabili- 
ties. One caveat before we begin. 
Remember that as of press time Yahoo! 
360° was still in beta mode, which 
means some features might not be in 
their final versions and may not work 
perfectly every time you use them. 

Just For Starters 

All you need to get started with 360° 
is a Yahoo! ID, which is the same ID 
you use to log in to a free Yahoo! email 
account. Next, simply access the main 
Yahoo! 360° site and click Get Started. 

Before you begin using Yahoo! 
360°, you'll need to complete a short 
registration process. Simply click the 
Get Started button on the Yahoo! 360° 
home page. You can confirm basic 
information associated with your ac- 
count, such as your name, nickname, 
the email address you want to asso- 
ciate with your account, and the time 
zone in which you live. Click Finished, 
and Yahoo! will take you to your very 



own 360° home page, filled with 
examples of pages from other users to 
help jumpstart your imagination. 

Check out some of the sample pages, 
and you'll immediately get an idea of 
how your own page will eventually 
look. On the left side of the screen, you 
can post a few pictures of yourself and 
your family, along with your age, 
home, and workplace or school name. 
Just below this area is a space where 
users can share music they like with 
people browsing their home page. 

At the top of the page, there's a one 
line Blast, for a favorite passage, Web 
link, or other tidbit. The main body of 
the page features a Blog box, in which 
a few fragments of the person's most 
recent post appears. You can click 
View Blog to see previous posts. Below 
the blog, you'll see Reviews, Lists, 
Feeds (for links to other Web re- 
sources), and detailed profile informa- 
tion about places where the user has 
lived, worked, and studied, along with 
other facts, such as languages spoken. 

The right column of My Page fea- 
tures three areas for photos, friends, 
and groups. Photos are arranged in 
albums that viewers select from a 
drop-down menu. The Friends box 
shows thumbnail images of people in 
your network, and the My Groups 
box shows any Yahoo! forums this 
user frequents. 

Create Your Own Page 

To start your own page, simply 
click Create My Page. To make things 
as easy as possible, Yahoo! lists three 
numbered steps at the top of the page, 
and you can use these to create your 
page in a logical fashion. 

If you'd rather jump around and 
update your page in a different order, 
you can. Yahoo! displays an entire 
page of empty boxes with labels. Click 
the Start A Blog link, and the site im- 
mediately helps you start blogging 
your ideas. If you're confused about 
the purpose of a particular box, you 
can click a help link in each area that 
explains exactly what the contents 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 93 



c 



should be and how you can manipu- 
late each box to suit your preferences. 

For starters, you may want to click 
the Change Theme link near the top 
of the page. You might find Yahoo !'s 
basic template a bit boring, but you 
can choose from dozens of colors and 
backgrounds, such as a snowman, 
mountains, or rain forest, to jazz up 
your page and make it better suited to 
your personality. 

Click Create Blast and then type a 
headline and insert a link that you 
want to grace the top of your page. As 
with most items on Yahoo! 360°, 
there are little things you can do to 
change the appearance of this section. 
From the Blast Balloon drop-down 
menu, you can select from a number 
of different formats, such as Quote, 
Thought, Question, and others. Each 
style slightly changes the layout and 
feel of the Blast section on your page. 

Beef up your blog. Because the blog 
section of your home page is one of 
most prominent, it's best to start by 
posting at least a little information here 
to give people an idea of what you're all 
about. Click the Start A Blog link, title 
your blog, and then provide a short de- 
scription for the kinds of issues and 
ideas you intend to discuss. 

You'll notice a couple of other im- 
portant settings under your blog de- 
scription. If you click the Activate My 
Simple URL checkbox, you create a 
personalized Web address that makes it 
easier for people who know your 
Yahoo! ID to find your 360° home 
page. You can also decide who can view 
and leave comments on your blog; you 
may want your blog to be wide open to 
the public or restricted to just a few 
friends. On the bottom-right side of 
the page, click Begin Blog, and you can 
start typing to your heart's content. 

Yahoo!'s blogging tools let you 
create a title for each blog entry, and 
you can insert photos, too. For 
example, click Compose Blog Entry 
and type an entry title. If you want to 
include a photo, click Browse and use 
Windows to find an image. Start typing 
your entry and then you can use the 



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Yahoo! 360° displays a series of numbered steps at the top of your home page to help guide you 
through the different steps to customizing your page. 



tools under Entry Content to format 
your text with color, highlights, inden- 
tations, and more. Once you're done, 
you can preview and then post your 
first entry with just a few clicks. 

On the My Blog page (click the My 
Blog link at the top of the page), 
you'll find all sorts of options to 
tweak your blog to perfection. You 
can delete or edit any blog entry, click 
My Blog Entries to sift through all of 
your postings and change all of your 
blog's settings. This page also pro- 
vides a link that explains how to start 
moblogging (mobile blogging) with 
your mobile phone. In order to use 
this service, you'll need a camera 
phone that you registered with 
Yahoo! Mobile. (See "Especially For 
Mobile Users" on page 151 for more 
about Yahoo! Mobile. )Your phone 
also must have email or MMS (multi- 
media message service) enabled. 

Bite The Hand 

Below the blog area, you have the 
option to add an RSS (Really Simple 
Syndication) feed to your page. This 
feature lets you set up feeds featuring 
your personal content from all over 
the Web, via the power of RSS. For 
example, you can create a feed so 
that your viewers will see updates for 



another one of your blogs hosted on 
another site or to share your film 
recommendations on the movie 
rental site Netflix (www.netflix.com). 

In short, feeds make it easier for 
you to share other Web content, 
from newspaper columns to political 
blogs to sites about your favorite 
hobbies. Yahoo! provides step-by- 
step instructions to help you add 
feeds to your page, but it's really a 
straightforward process. All you 
have to do is access the site you want 
to share via RSS, right-click a tiny 
orange button that usually reads RSS 
or XML, and Click Copy Shortcut. 
Next, click the Add A Feed link on 
your 360° page and paste that 
shortcut into one of the URL text 
boxes in the Shared Feeds page. 
Click Save at the bottom of the page, 
and your page's visitors will see 
those feeds, which are updated auto- 
matically as content changes. 

Reviews, music, and photos. After 
you set up your feeds, you might want 
to add some reviews. Click Start 
Writing Reviews in the middle of your 
360° page, and Yahoo! will open the 
Yahoo! Network page, where you can 
add your page's information to the 
Yahoo! Network. Clicking the check- 
boxes here will really connect you to 
the 360° community, letting other 



94 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



c 



people see the kind of forums you 
visit, the reviews you post, and the 
music you listen to on Yahoo! Music. 
If you really want to make 
as many friends as possible, 
you should check each of 
these boxes. 

Just below the Reviews 
checkbox, you'll see links 
for Local, Games, Shop- 
ping, and Travel. Click one 
of these links to find a busi- 
ness or product you'd like 
to review. You can provide 
a star rating along with a 
lengthy text review to give 
your friends the lowdown 
on a jazzy new MP3 player 
or to relate your awful ex- 
periences at the new pasta 
place in town. 

In the Yahoo! Network 
page, you can also set up 
your personalized radio sta- 
tion. Click My LAUNCH- 
cast Station to load the 
Yahoo! Music page. Point 
to the LAUNCHcast Radio 
tab, click Customize My 
Station, and you can begin 
customizing the kind of 
music you want Yahoo!'s 
radio site to play for you. 
You can listen all you want 
for free (or if you don't like 
the commercials, you can 
upgrade for a fee and omit 
them completely), and when people 
visit your 360° home page, they can 
hear your station, too. To learn more 
about LAUNCHcast Music, check out 
"The Sound Of Music" on page 74. 

Your visitors can listen to your 
music while they're browsing your 
photo collection. If you have an ex- 
isting Yahoo! Photo album or a 
Flickr (www.flickr.com) photo- 
stream, your 360° home page makes 
it easy to share your images. Click 
the Share Photos link on your 360° 
page to begin. If you don't already 
have photos online, just click Add 
Photos, and Yahoo! will direct you 
to a tool that lets you upload your 



pictures. As with so many other 
Yahoo! 360° features, you can apply 
privacy settings to your albums and 





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With just a few clicks, you can set up your page to display feeds of 
information from other sites, such as your favorite news source. 




You can customize a Yahoo! music station to play your favorite tunes as 
other people are viewing your page. 



prevent certain users from viewing 
your collections. 

Your Networked World 

After you set up your Yahoo! 360° 
home page and configure all of your 
privacy settings, you can invite your 
friends to see your page. At the top of 
My Page, click Invite, type your friend's 
email address, customize your message, 
complete the word verification, and 
click Send Invitation. 

Once you've invited your current 
friends to view your page, you can 
start clicking to find other users with 
similar interests. At the top of your 



home page, click Find People You 

Know On Yahoo! 360°. Then you 

can search for other people by name 

or Yahoo! ID, or you can 

skip to the Discover New 

People section. 

If you want to find 
new friends who have 
the same interests, run a 
keyword search in the 
Discover New People 
section, and you'll see all 
profiles containing that 
keyword. Keep in mind 
Yahoo! uses the infor- 
mation on home pages 
to help users find each 
other, so if you list "pho- 
tography" on your page, 
chances are that photog- 
raphy enthusiasts will 
find your page. 

After you run this kind 
of keywords search, you 
can check out each profile 
individually, and if you 
want, add that person to 
your list of friends. The 
Advanced search features 
let you limit your finds by 
age, gender, location, lan- 
guage spoken, college, 
and other specifics, and 
then you can contact new 
acquaintances via email or 
instant messaging. From 
there, your social network 
may expand exponentially, depending 
on how actively you pursue your new 
online relationships. 

From there, the possibilities are vir- 
tually endless. You can learn more 
about your favorite hobbies, meet 
more people at your university, and 
network with other people in the 
same line of work. You can change 
your own profile to make it as basic 
or detailed as you want, interact with 
as many people as you like, and stay 
as active as you want as you pursue a 
well-rounded online life. H 

by Nathan Chandler 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 95 



c 



Up Close 
& Personal 



Online Dating With Yahoo! 



Typically, the people who 
say that "there are plenty 
more fish in the sea" 
have long since reeled in a 
catch and packed up their 
tackle for the day. If you're 
finding your seas less than 
teeming, check out Yahoo! 
Personals, and start making 
connections. Depending on your 
preference, Yahoo! Personals (per 
sonals.yahoo.com) offers subscription 
services that cater to both casual daters 
and those looking for a serious long- 
term relationship. There are even a 
handful of features for those afraid of 
(monetary) commitment. 

Jump Right In 

When you launch the Yahoo! 
Personals Web site, the first thing you'll 
notice is the Find My Match box in the 
upper-middle part of the home page. 
Both subscribers and nonsubscribers 
can search Yahoo! Personals. To get 
started, click the drop boxes to desig- 
nate your sex and choose the sex of 
your potential date. Enter an age range 
for the person you're seeking, a city or 
ZIP Code, and then choose a search 
range from 5 to 250 miles. You can also 
click a checkbox to show only profiles 
with photos. Finally, click the Find My 
Match button to see the results page. 

The results page loads in the Basic 
View, which consists of photos (if 
available) of your best matches, the 
person's age, general location, a pro- 
file excerpt, when the person was last 
active on the Yahoo! Personals site, 




and the person's compatibility with 
regard to your search criteria, repre- 
sented as a series of hearts. You can 
also browse your results in Photo 
Gallery and Slideshow views by 
clicking the appropriate tabs at the 
top of the page. 

Aside from the information you 
supplied on the main page, you can 
narrow your search criteria using 
more than 30 additional categories, 
such as Personality Type, Religion, 
Ethnicity, Political, and Interests. 
Simply click one of the links in the 
Refine My Search Criteria box on the 
left side of the page to expand a series 
of checkboxes. If you're the picky 
type, then check out these categories 
to refine your search ad infinitum. 
For instance, click the TV link to see 
Couch Potato, Reality Show Addict, 
News Junkie, Sports Nut, Documen- 
taries, Channel Hopper, and Tivo Is 
My Best Friend, to name a few. You 
can check multiple boxes, and then 
indicate whether these qualities are 
Must Have Criteria, or not. 



Going Dutch 

If you're not ready to commit to 
paying for the service, don't worry; you 
can do a fair bit of browsing without 
opening your wallet. Once you've cre- 
ated your free profile, Yahoo! Personals 
lets you access several features free of 
charge, including a free Icebreaker 
message, which is a short flirty 
comment such as "I like your 
photo," and "We have lots in 
common." Simply click Break 
The Ice For FREE from any indi- 
vidual profile page. After creating 
your profile, you can click a link 
from the left side of your My 
Profile page to take personality 
tests that can help you figure 
out what sort of relationship 
you're looking for, your per- 
sonality type, and your "love 
style." Other free services include 
Voice and Video Greetings, and the 
ability to use the Yahoo! Personals 
Search engine, as described above. 

Step by step. If you already have a 
Yahoo! ID, type your ID and Password 
in the boxes at the top- right corner of 
the Yahoo! Personals home page and 
click Sign In. If you don't have an ID, 
you can create an account by clicking 
the Become A Yahoo! Member link on 
the right side of the page. If you're not 
ready to fork over the cash, don't 
worry, signing up with a Yahoo! ID 
doesn't cost a thing. Once you sign in, 
you'll notice a few more options in the 
My Searches box , such as access to the 
search criteria links, and an Add More 
Search Criteria button. Make your 
choices and then click Find My Match. 
The Search Results page displays up 
to 10 of your best matches, with a 
Refine My Search Criteria section to 
the left side of the page. Click the Set 
Up Matches By Mail link in the lower- 
left corner of the page to get your best 
matches sent directly to your email 
inbox. Just fill out Required Criteria, 
the Optional Criteria (to get the best 
matches), and check the boxes to de- 
note your Must Have criteria. Click 
Find My Match, and Yahoo! Personals 



96 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



c 



Yahoo! Personals 






will begin to send you po- 
tential matches. 

Back on the Search 
Results page, click a pro- 
file for a closer look. Here 
you'll find additional 
photos, a list of the per- 
son's About Me informa- 
tion, and a personalized 
description called In My 
Own Words. Click the 
Break The Ice For FREE 
link to send your profile 
to a potential date. If you 
haven't set up a profile, 
just click the Create A 
Free Profile link at the 
top of the page and 
follow the prompts. 

If you click the Send Me An Email 
link, or try to access any of the sub- 
scription services, Yahoo! will direct 
you to the pricing options page. 

Step Up & Pay Up 

So you've created your personal ad 
and started glancing at a few profiles in 
your area. Before long, you'll find that 
talking to the people you're interested 
in getting to know isn't possible 
without subscribing to the service. If 
you're a casual dater looking for casual 
dates, look into becoming a Yahoo! 
Personals subscriber for $24.95 a 
month (click the Subscribe link at the 
top of the home page, then click Learn 
More from the Yahoo! Personals box). 
In addition to the free services, sub- 
scribers can send and receive Instant 
Messages and emails. Yahoo! Personals 
also has a six-month rate ($74.95) and 
a quarterly rate ($49.95). If you're still 
afraid to take the plunge, check out the 
free 7-day trial offer on the Yahoo! 
Personals home page. 

More for your money. Yahoo! pro- 
vides a few premium services for those 
looking for a serious long-term rela- 
tionship. For $39.95 a month, Yahoo! 
Personals Premier account holders get 
access to everything included with the 
Yahoo! Personals subscription, plus the 
option to search Premier subscribers, 



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the ability to rate your matches for 
better search results, and special 
Relationship Fit Ratings, which tell you 
how compatible you are with other 



Premier subscribers. Premier 
subscribers also don't have to 
worry about less serious 
daters, as they're likely to be 
turned off by the higher price. 
If you're in it for the long 
haul and want to save money, 
try the six-month ($124.95) 
or quarterly ($84.95) pricing 
plan. Like the non- Premium 
subscription plan, Yahoo! 
offers a free 7- day trial 

Yahoo! Personals stands 
out from other online dating 
services because it leverages 
the vast number of people 
who use Yahoo! for email, 
shopping, and other online 
services. Check it out if you're 
looking to meet new people. You may 
just land the love of your life. H 



by Andrew Leibman 



Safety Tips For Using Yahoo! Personals 



Practicing safe 
posting is the key to 
a fun and rewarding ex- 
perience on Yahoo! 
Personals. Here are a few 
tips that will help you 
on your first foray into 
online dating. 

Play hard to get. Both 
Yahoofs New To Online 
Dating and Community 
Guidelines pages stress 
the importance of 
anonymity. In your con- 
versations with potential 
dates, make sure you 
don't reveal too much 
about yourself. Until 
you're confident that 
the other person is trust- 
worthy, don't hand over 
personal information 
such as your full name, 
email address, street ad- 
dress, phone number, 
personal Web sites, and 
Instant messaging IDs or 



numbers. Yahoo! doesn't 
do background checks, 
so it's up to you to 
protect yourself from 
unsavory types. 

Follow the golden rule. 
If you treat other as 
you'd like to be treated, 
then you're much more 
likely to strike a chord 
with Mr. or Ms. Right. 
This includes being 
honest and upfront in 
your personal ad and on- 
line conversations. If 
things progress, make 
sure you've made your 
intentions clear to avoid 
potentially messy situa- 
tions and hurt feelings. 

Stay alert. Even if you 
find yourself falling 
head over heels, try to 
keep a level head. Aside 
from getting to know 
the person, try to get a 
feel for his or her 



moods, attitudes, and 
opinions. Make sure 
you can easily discon- 
tinue communications 
at any time if you want 
out. If you choose to 
meet, try to pick a neu- 
tral public place, tell a 
friend where and when 
you're meeting, and 
drive yourself. 

Hang back. Take your 
time. Restrict yourself 
to communicating over 
the Internet until you're 
comfortable meeting 
your match in a public 
place. If you're unable 
to find things to discuss 
after a while, then per- 
haps you and this 
person aren't matched 
well. Also, don't let the 
other person dictate 
when you give up your 
phone number or 
other information. 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 97 



c 



DIY Web Design 

Let GeoCities Host Your Web Site For Free 



The Internet might have been 
nebulous, foreign territory 
the first few times you logged 
on, but over time, you started to get 
the hang of the process. Now, 
you're generally able to track 
down the right Web sites. 
You may not have explored 
every lane in the informa- 
tion superhighway, but you 
consider yourself an experi- 
enced Internet user. 

After visiting and viewing 
so many Web sites, you ask 
yourself, "Why not me? Why 
can't I have my own Web site?" With 
Yahoo! GeoCities (geocities. yahoo 
.com), creating a personal Web site 
doesn't require having a separate 
computer with a huge hard drive or 
paying for Web design software 
and/or a service that will store your 
Web page and make it available to 
other Internet users. All that you 
need is a Yahoo! ID and some free 
time to put your URL on the map. 

Get What You Pay For 

GeoCities offers the following 
Web site packages: Free, Plus, and 
Pro. When you lay GeoCities Web 
page packages side-by-side, you'll 
see why GeoCities Plus or Pro might 
be the more attractive choice, even 
though you have to pay a monthly 
fee to use these services. Not only 
will you be able to upload more con- 
tent to your personal Web page, but 
you'll also have more customer sup- 
port options from Yahoo! if you se- 
lect a premium package. 

Two noteworthy differences be- 
tween the services are the amount of 
available storage for your Web page 




and the presence of sponsored ads. 
GeoCities Free allots you 15MB for 
storing your Web page files, but you 
can quickly consume this with large 
files such as high-resolution images. 
Also, GeoCities subsidizes its costs of 
offering free Web pages by placing 
sponsored ads on these pages. 

Start Construction 

To get your home page off its 
launch pad and send your creative 
ideas into cyberspace, go to Geo- 
Cities' home page and click the Sign 
Up button under GeoCities Free. 
Sign in with your Yahoo! ID and 
password. On the next page, Yahoo! 
will ask you to answer a couple of 
questions about how you intend to 
use your Web page and how you dis- 
covered GeoCities Free. 

After you answer these questions, 
GeoCities Free generates a unique 
code that you must enter in the cor- 
responding field below. Yahoo! uses 
this code to essentially defend against 



spamming its servers with automated 
registrations. Enter the code (which 
is case sensitive) you see and click 
Submit. The code may appear gar- 
bled and undecipherable. You can 
refresh the page to receive a dif- 
ferent, more readable code if you 
can't make out the first one. Yahoo! 
will send you a confirmation email 
with instructions on designing your 
Web site. Click Build Your Web Site 
Now! to proceed. 

Building your personal Web site 

really begins at your GeoCities 

Control Panel. The Control Panel 

contains the following six 

tabbed links: Home, Create & 

Update, Manage, Promote, 

Help, and Index. You'll start 

at the Home tab by default. 

The Home tab offers a tour 

of GeoCities and an overview 

of the Control Panel to give 

users an idea of GeoCities' capa- 
bilities. You can also go to the Home 
tab for a glimpse of your site's status 
and how many page views your 
site receives on a daily, weekly, or 
monthly basis. 

Click the Create & Update tab to 
access GeoCities' tools for making 
your Web site shine. You can use ei- 
ther PageBuilder or PageWizards to 
assemble your site. 

PageWizards. If you'd rather rely 
on a template to serve as the founda- 
tion of your Web page instead of 
shuffling text and images around on a 
blank canvas, PageWizards can do a 
lot of the design legwork for you. On 
the Create & Update tab, click Yahoo! 
PageWizards. 

PageWizards gives you eight Quick 
Start templates and several themed 
templates to choose from. Click the 
link for the template you want to 
use. In the dialog box that opens, 
click Begin. You'll have the opportu- 
nity to change your template at the 
next step by clicking a radio button 
next to the different template; click 
Next when you're satisfied with your 
selection. Give your page a title and 
enter any text you want to display 



98 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



c 



0' 



^ Site St.itus 

Data Transfer Usage 



on your home page and 
click Next. 

Step two gives you the 
opportunity to add a 
picture to your Web 
page. Click the radio but- 
ton next to one of the 
following options: Use 
Your Own Image, Use 
The Template's Default 
Image, or Don't Use An 
Image. If you select Use 
Your Own Image and 
this is the first time using 
PageWizards, click Up- 
load New Image and then 
Browse to find the image 
on your hard drive that 
you want to use. Click 
Next when you've se- 
lected your image. 

If you have favorite Web sites to 
share with visitors to your site, step 
three lets you provide links to those 
sites. You can give this section of your 
Web page a name and list up to four 
sites below. Be sure you enter the 
proper URL in the Web Address fields 
and click Next. 

You can display your name and an 
email address in step four. Complete 
the empty field with any information 
you want others to see and click 
Next. If you have Yahoo! Messenger, 
you can add a button to your Web 
page that lets users send you an IM 
(instant message). Adding this but- 
ton also notifies others you're online 
and logged in to Yahoo!. Give your 
page a name and click Next and 
Done. The URL GeoCities creates for 
your page will use the following 
format: www.geocities.com/j/owrj/a- 
hooidl 'yourpagename.html. 

PageBuilder. Templates are a fan- 
tastic way to kick start your Web 
page, but PageBuilder gives you 
more design freedom. To open 
PageBuilder, click Yahoo! Page- 
Builder on the Create & Update tab. 
If you don't see the Launch Page- 
Builder link on the next page, you 
may need to install Java (www. Java 
.com). Click the Launch PageBuilder 



GeoCities Control Panel 



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■ No ads on your site 

■ Free domain name 
• 2.OQ0MB disk space 

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More Information 
Where Am I? 

: ■ •.;--:; . . 

• ■ :.■■.. ■'■ : .;' . 

:j C •:;': i ...'..' .:. 

" . ' 

with our overview . 

Learn from Your Results 

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; .-;hf. >- f :x!:3t:c:-. •■;:{:■•?■-. -:'■:/-,■ 
give you some ideas. 
more. 



Think of the GeoCities Control Panel as your Web site's command central. 



link, and PageBuilder should open 
in a separate window. (If you are 
using a pop-up blocker, you may 
need to temporarily disable it or 
allow access for PageBuilder.) 

Initially, using PageBuilder may be 
intimidating, but you can quickly repo- 
sition text, add and move pictures, and 
make other modifications once you 
understand its basic features. Click the 
Text button to create a text box in a 
fashion similar to a program such as 
MS Paint. Enter your text in the box 
and click outside the box. Now, you 
can click and drag the box anywhere on 
the page you want. Double-click the 
box to edit its contents. 

To add graphical flair to your page, 
click the Pictures button. In the Select 
Picture dialog box, you can choose 
from preexisting clip art, but you'll 
probably want to upload your own 
graphics. To upload a picture, click 
the Upload button. Click the Browse 
button and find the picture you want 
to upload. (You can upload GIF and 
JPEG file formats, and valid file 
names must only include letters, 
numbers, hyphens, underscores, and 
periods.) Click Upload to add the file 
to your User Files picture list. 

In the Picture List pane, double- 
click Clipart or User Files to browse 



for the picture you wish to 
add to your Web page. 
Once you select it, click 
OK. You can also click and 
drag pictures to move them 
to a different location on 
the page. 

You can use the Link 
button to embed hyper- 
links to other URLs or 
email addresses. Select an 
eligible item (such as text 
or a graphic) on your page 
and click the Link button. 
If you want to link to a 
URL, type the URL in the 
empty field and click OK. 
To link to an email ad- 
dress, select email from 
the drop-down menu, type 
an email address in the 
empty field, and click OK. 

PageBuilder has a handful of other 
effects and add-ons to spice up your 
Web page. Click the Add-ons but- 
ton to choose from PageBuilder's 
additional features. Before you send 
the page you designed out to the 
Internet, you can click the Preview 
button for an idea of how it will 
look. When you're satisfied with the 
page you've created, click the Save 
button to save your page and pub- 
lish it to the Web. 

After Lift Off 

We've helped you send your Web 
page into orbit, but you can use the 
resources on the Create & Update, 
Manage, and Promote tabs to make 
improvements and showcase your 
page to the online community. 

Using a PageWizards template is 
helpful to understand the basics of 
building a Web page, but as you 
learn the basics of Web design, 
we recommend using PageBuilder. 
You'll find that its flexibility will let 
you tweak your Web page according 
to your unique tastes. Qjs] 

BY VlNCE COGLEY 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 99 



c 



Yahoo! Groups 

Where Everybody Knows Your Name 



Though most of us can cer- 
tainly appreciate a minute or 
two alone, people need 
communication to 
stay sane. Yahoo! 
does its part to en- 
courage camaraderie 
by giving its users 
Yahoo! Groups, a 
place to meet people 
who have the same 
interests as you. Using Groups isn't 
quite as easy as instant messenger, 
but you meet new people, and it can 
be a useful place to gain knowledge 
about your hobbies or interests. 

Find The Right Group 




way into Group search results by 
adding random words that are com- 
monly searched for in order to get 
their groups in front of more faces. 
It goes without saying that if you 



'X&HOOf GROUPS 







Yahoo! Groups 

The easiest way for groups of people 
to communicate on the Internet 



y Groups... 

Sign in to Yahoo! 

Yahoo! ID: | 
Password: | 



□ Remember my ID on this 
computer 



Find a Group 

i 



Search 



If you're a new user to Yahoo! 
Groups (groups.yahoo.com) you'll 
obviously need to find a 
group that has the same 
interests as you. One way 
you can search for groups 
is by typing a search term 
in the Find A Group 
search box and clicking 
Search. For instance, if 
we wanted to join a 
group dedicated to moth- 
erboards, we'd search for 
the term "motherboard." 
At press time, our search 
yielded 42 groups with 
"motherboard" in their 
group description. How- 
ever, our search listed a 
few groups that weren't 
about motherboards at 
all. In fact, a few weren't 
intended for mother- 
board aficionados under 
the age of 18. Sometimes 
adult groups find their Yahoo! Groups has a helpful list of categories to start your search 



Business & Finance 
Cultures & Community 
Family * Home 
Government & Politics 
Hobbies & Crafts 
Recreation & Sports 

8 Beliefs 
Schools u 



Computers & Internet 

Entertainment & Aits 

Games 

Health & Wellness 

Music 

Regional 

Romance & Relationships 

Science 



Create Your Own Group 

to find others who sr re ou n particular interest. 

Stait a <jioii|) now 



Don't have a Yahoo! ID? 

Signing up is easy. 

Sign Up 



Features at a glance 

Message archive 

Read and reply to group messages. 
Start a new discussion. 

Photos 

Share photos with group members in 
your own photo album. 

Calendar 

Coordinate events for your group with 
a shared calendar 

Polls 

Ask members how they feel about 
any topic. 

Links 

Store links to Web sites related to 
your group. 



have children who use Yahoo! 
Groups, monitor their group mem- 
berships very carefully. 

If you don't have a specific term 
you want to search for or if you'd 
like to browse the different groups 
on Yahoo!, click a category in the 
Find A Group box in the middle of 
your screen. For instance, if we 
wanted to find a group dedicated to 
computers, we'd click the Com- 
puters & Internet link. From 
there we select a cat- 
egory in the Browse 
For More Special- 
ized Groups section 
to further filter our 
choices. Because we 
clicked the Compu- 
ter & Internet link 
on the Groups home page, the 
subcategories of this group include 
more specialized choices in the 
Computer & Internet field, such as 
Hardware, Programming Languages, 
and Technical Support. If we click 
Hardware, the Browse For More 
Specialized Groups box displays a 
new set of categories dealing with 
computer hardware. It categorizes 
groups into sections such 
as Components, Peri- 
pherals, and PDAs (per- 
sonal digital assistants). 

Keep whittling your way 
down through these cate- 
gories and subcategories 
until you find a list of 
groups that catches your 
interest. Once you get to 
this point, Yahoo! will 
create a Group Listings 
section that displays all of 
the groups that pertain to 
your subject of interest. 
For instance, if you click 
Computers & Internet 
from the Groups home 
page, then click Hardware, 
then Components, then 
Video Cards, you narrow 
your search from the 
154,278 groups in Com- 
puters & Internet to 126 



Search | 



| Sign In | 



100 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



c 



Create Your 
Own Group 

Though you can join a Yahoo! 
group dedicated to nearly any 
hobby or cause, Yahoo! also lets 
you create your own group. To 
begin, sign in to your Yahoo! ac- 
count and go to the Yahoo! 
Groups home page. At the bottom 
of the page, you'll see a section 
titled Create Your Own Group. 
Click the Start A Group Now link 
at the bottom of the section. This 
takes you to the first of a three- 
step process in creating a group- 
selecting the category that best 
describes your group. You can se- 
lect a group category by searching 
for it in the Search Group Cate- 
gories search box or by using the 
Browse Group Categories tool. 

We wanted to create a group 
where novice computer users 
could go to share good and bad 
experiences with hardware and 
software. After our search 
queries for "Computing Stories" 
and "Novice Computing" didn't 
return any results, we used the 
Browse Group Categories tool 
to put our group in the User 
Groups section. 

After we found a category to 
call home, we moved on to the 
next step, describing our group. 
Here we entered our group name 
and a brief description. Yahoo! 
Groups also set us up with an 
email address that we could use to 
send messages to our members. 

The final step we took in the 
process was to join our own 
group. We simply selected the 
profile we wanted to use to receive 
messages from our group (if you 
have only one Yahoo! profile, it 
will automatically be selected for 
you) and then entered the dis- 
played text in the Word Verifica- 
tion section. We finished by 
clicking Continue. I 



"Y&Hoor groups 2r u £, 



groups, listed from 
largest membership 
enrollment to smallest, 
dealing with Video 
Cards specifically. 

When you click the 
title of a group you 
are interested in, it 
will take you to the 
group's home on 
Yahoo! Groups. This 
page shows you how 
many messages mem- 
bers have posted in 
the past week. In the 
Message History sec- 
tion of the page, you 
can read how many 
posts the group made 
in each month for the 
past five years. It's a 
great indicator for how 
active other members of your potential 
group will be. 

Get Included 

Once you decide a group is right 
for you, joining it is pretty easy. 
When you're on the home page of a 
group (the page that gives you a de- 
scription of the group and the mes- 
sage history), you'll notice two 
buttons on the right side of your 
screen, one at the top and one at the 
bottom, that say Join This Group!. 
Click either button. Next, Yahoo! 
will prompt you to sign in with your 
Yahoo! account. Enter your Yahoo! 
ID and Password into their respec- 
tive text boxes in the grey Sign In To 
Yahoo! box and click Sign In. When 
you sign in, you'll be taken to a Join 
This Group section. Here, you can 
double-check your Yahoo! ID in the 
Yahoo! Profile area as well as make 
sure the email address where new 
messages will be sent is correct. 

Below the Email Address section 
is the Message Delivery portion of 
the application, which lets you select 
the type and frequency of the mes- 
sages you receive from your Yahoo! 
group. You can receive individual 






search 



Yahoo: Groups 




Find a Group 


|| Search | 


(Example: pottery, Harry Potter, c 


ock-pot) 


Business 8 Finance 


Computers 8 Internet 


Cultures 8 Community 


Entertainment 8 Aits 


Family 8 Home 


Games 


Government 8 Politics 


He.ilth 8 Wellness 


Hobbies 8 Crafts 


Music 


iioii 8 Spoils 


Regional 


Religion 8 Beliefs 


:; 


Schools a i 


Science 


Create Your Own Group 




to find other:; lar interest. 


Stmt a gi 





To view My Groups... 

Sign in to Yahoo! 


Yahoo, ID: d 




Password: | 


□ Remember my ID o 
computer 


this 


| Sign In | 


^Don't have a Yahoo: ID? ^S^ 

up is easy. 
s Sicm Up> 



Features at a glance 
archive 

Start a r 



Calendai 

calendar 
Polls 

any topic. 

Store links to Web siiss related to 
your group. 



You'll need a Yahoo! user ID to sign up for a group. 



emails, a daily highlight message, 
special notices from the group's 
moderator, or no emails at all. Click 
the radio button next to the choice 
that best suits your needs and click 
the radio button next to the format 
in which you want to receive your 
messages. The final step in joining a 
group is to enter a short letter/ 
number code in the text box in the 
Word Verification section and click 
Join in the bottom-right section of 
your screen. 

User Beware 

Yahoo! Groups is a nice place for 
people to come together to meet 
others with similar interests. It's fun 
to learn more about our hobbies, but 
remember to be careful when search- 
ing for groups. As we mentioned ear- 
lier, some adult groups may pop up 
even if you're searching a seemingly 
unrelated term. This shouldn't dis- 
courage you from joining a group 
that can help you, but keep this in 
mind if you have any tiny computer 
users running around, [jjs] 

by Sam Evans 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 101 



c 



Signed, Sealed 
& Delivered 

Send Personalized Cards With Yahoo! Greetings 



M 



ove over, Hallmark. 
It's time to make some 
room in the greeting 
card space for a relative new- 
comer, one that has the po- 
tential to change how people 
typically send cards to friends 
and family members. Yahoo! 
teamed up with American 
Greetings.com to create the 
Yahoo! Greetings site. 

Yahoo! Greetings lets you 
to create personalized greet- 
ings for scores of occasions, in- 
cluding holidays, birthdays, 
and anniversaries, as well as 
other types of cards, such as 
thank-you notes, "Thinking of you" 
messages, and inspirational wishes. Not 
only will you find a slew of messages, 
you'll also find a variety of styles. Some 
cards are bright and cheerful; others are 
more sedate; and still others are, well, 
downright corny. Plus, the greeting 
cards come with a number of inter- 
esting features available only online, 
such as animated drawings. 

You can get a small taste of what 
the site offers by heading to www 
.yahoo.americangreetings.com and 
browsing through the eCard Cate- 
gories on the left. Select a category 
that interests you and take a look 
through the thumbnail sketches. If 
the word Free appears in bright or- 
ange letters beneath an item, you can 
customize and send that card to 
whomever you wish. 

If you want to get the most out of 
the site, we recommend you sign up for 
the free 30-day trial. This gives you 




access to all Yahoo! Greetings has to 
offer, and you can see for yourself 
whether you like the paid version's 
extra features, such as the digital assis- 
tant that tracks what cards you've sent, 
or the Add- a- Photo feature that lets 
you attach pictures to your greetings. 
After the trial period, it costs $13.99 to 
continue your one-year subscription. 

A small note of caution about the 
site, however. We are fans of most 
Yahoo! properties (hence an entire 
issue devoted to Yahoo!), but this one 
is a bit more cluttered than some of 
the other sections. And if you use a 
browser other than Internet Explorer, 
you may run into some minor func- 
tionality problems. But this shouldn't 
keep you from appreciating the site, 
and there's plenty here to enjoy. 



Create A Greeting 

Yahoo! Greetings offers more than 
8,000 cards in 14 broad categories: 
Holidays, Just Because, Love & 
Dating, Birthday, Friendship, Special 
Collections, Yahoo! Exclusives, 
Inspire & Encourage, Events & 
Occasions, Care & Concern, Thank 
You, Celebrate This Date, Now 
Featuring, and Family, Teens, Baby. 

Click any of those links, and you'll 
see that each category is divided into 
subcategories. For example, Special 
Collections carries nearly four 
dozen subcategories, and 
topics range from 9/11 Re- 
membrance to Hello Kitty to 
Harley Davidson. Drill down 
one layer further — we decided 
to see what Looney Tunes was 
all about — and you can see 
all the cards in that sub- 
topic. For instance Looney 
Tunes carries a get-well card 
from a flattened Wile E. 
Coyote ("Hope You're Back 
On Your Feet Soon!") and 
wishes for a "Gwand Birthday" 
from Tweety. 
You could spend hours scouring 
through the various categories, but 
once you've found a card you'd like to 
send, it takes only minutes to cus- 
tomize it. And this is where the ad- 
vantages of sending an online greeting 
card are clear. For instance, musical 
clips accompany most of the cards, 
and you have the option of turning 
the music on and off. And many of 
the cards are animated, which makes 
for some fun graphics. 

To create the card, you simply click 
a Personalize And Send button and fill 
in the requested information. This 
typically includes the recipient's email 
address, a personalized message at the 
bottom of the card, other information 
to include on the card, and the date to 
send the card. Members can request a 
card be sent up to a year in advance, 
provided they are still members at that 
date. If you create a card to be sent in 
the future and you later change your 



102 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



c 



mind, you can cancel the send- 
ing if you cancel at least 24 
hours in advance. 

And finally, if you've browsed 
and searched but haven't found 
a card to send, be sure to check 
out the Celebrate The Date cate- 
gory. This group has a card for 
every date, whether it's "Be Glad 
You Didn't Run Away And Join 
The Circus" day (March 6), "No 
Housework" day (April 7 — as if 
you need an excuse) or, yes, 
we're not making this up: 
"Tighty Whitey Appreciation 
Day" (May 3, and we bet you 
can't wait to send that card!). 

Additional Features 



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eCard Search: 




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Send an online greeting card with Yahoo! Greetings. 



Site subscribers can use sev- 
eral practical ecard tools, such as 
My Favorites. The site's organi- 
zation can be a tad confusing be- 
cause some of the cards are 
grouped into multiple subcate- 
gories, and some of the subcate- 
gories fall under more than one 
category, too. You can use the 
site's search engine, but that 
doesn't ensure you'll be able to 
easily locate a card that you had 
found in the past. That's where 
My Favorites comes in handy. 

When you discover a card 
that you think you'll want to 
send (or send again) in the future, 
you can click the Add To My 
Favorites button. This action 
stores the card in the My Favorites 
page. Then you can click the My 
Favorites link, located at the top of 
most of the site's pages, to access this 
card and other cards you've added to 
the list. The My Favorites page displays 
small depictions of each card, and you 
can click a thumbnail to enlarge the 
card. You can also permanently delete 
any card from your favorites list. 

OK, so you've saved a card in My 
Favorites, and you can't remember to 
whom you sent it. No worries. The 
Outbox takes care of this. The Outbox 
acts as a file that contains all the cards 




h| Picks 

Featured Picks 

Anniversary 

Baby 

Birthday 

Friendship 

OetWell 

Graduation 

Holidays 

Love & Dating 
Miss You 
Sympathy 
Thank You 

j of You 
| Engagement 



Yahoo! Greetings has an inventory of more than 8,000 
cards, including these featured picks. 



you've sent in the past year. You can 
see when you created the card, when 
you sent it, the email address of the 
recipient, and a copy of the card. 
There's even a link to Resend the 
card, so if a recipient tells you he 
laughed out loud at your card but 
deleted it and needs another belly 
laugh, you can quickly oblige him by 
sending it again. 

In addition, the Outbox keeps track 
of all the ecards you have in your out- 
going queue, which can be useful 
when sending, say, birthday cards. We 
think it's great that Yahoo! Greetings 



lets you schedule cards to be sent 
up to a year in advance, but let's 
face it — it would be extremely 
easy to forget whether you cre- 
ated the perfect birthday card for 
Aunt Edna. Schedule multiple 
cards for future delivery and then 
periodically check the Outbox to 
make sure you aren't forgetting 
an important date. 

A third tool available only to 
subscribers is the Add-a-Photo 
feature. We can envision many 
useful situations in which you 
might want to use this feature, 
such as attaching a photo of the 
new baby to a birth announce- 
ment card or a picture of the 
happy graduate when she was a 
child to a graduation card. Note, 
however, that to use this feature, 
you must use Internet Explorer 
as your Web browser. If you 
aren't using IE, you can copy 
and paste the card's URL into 
IE. Plus, the site asks you to 
download a plug-in to optimize 
the photo size. 

Lastly, the final subscriber tool 
is the Scrapbook. The Scrapbook 
is the counterpart to your Out- 
box; it's the feature that stores all 
the ecards you've received. You 
can save the cards in your per- 
sonal scrapbook and look at 
them whenever you want. 
While Yahoo! Greetings' cards 
have many advantages over tradi- 
tional cards, including a huge in- 
ventory, organizational tools, and 
multimedia features, maybe the best 
benefit they carry is that the card 
will never get lost in the mail. 
Yahoo! Greetings sends you an email 
notification when your recipient 
picks up your card. And if the recip- 
ient enjoys receiving the card as 
much as you did creating it, you may 
soon find one of your own in your 
email inbox. Qjs] 

by Heidi Anderson 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 103 



c 



Coordinate Your 
Schedule Online 

Yahoo! Calendar Lets You Get A Handle 
On Your Schedule 



Managing your busy sche- 
dule isn't always easy, but 
trying to coordinate your 
schedule with others can seem im- 
possible. Desktop software such 
as Microsoft Outlook and even 
Palm and Pocket PC devices offer 
some help, but when schedules 
change, it's not always easy to update 
your calendar. 

Online calendars are an alternative 
method for managing busy schedules. 
The main advantage of an online cal- 
endar is that it's easy to share with 
others. You can even allow family and 
friends to edit your schedule for you. 

Get Started 

If you have a Yahoo! Mail account, 
you have a Yahoo! Calendar. You 
can access your calendar by opening 
Yahoo! Mail and clicking the Calendar 
tab or by visiting calendar.yahoo.com. 
My Yahoo! users can also add their cal- 
endar to their My Yahoo! page. (See 
"My Yahoo!" on page 22 for more in- 
formation about My Yahoo!.) 

The main screen shows your sched- 
ule for the current day. You can 
change display views by clicking the 
Week, Month, or Year tabs. The 
Event Lists tab displays a list of up- 
coming events, and the Tasks tab lets 
you enter to-do items that don't fit in 
your regular calendar. 

On the left side of the page, you'll 
see a small monthly calendar. Days 
with scheduled events appear in bold. 
Click a day to view your schedule for 
that day. Click the Left or Right arrow 




buttons at the top of the calendar to 
display a different month. 

Add An Event 

The fastest way to add an event is the 
Quick Event Add at the bottom of your 
Yahoo! Calendar page. Provide a name, 
date, and time for the event and click 
the Add button. You can access addi- 
tional options by clicking the Add 
Event button in the top-left corner of 
the page. The Add Even screen is 
helpful if you need to schedule a time 
with other Yahoo! Calendar users. 
Click Invite / Find Free Times link in 
the Date section and enter a Yahoo! ID 
to display shared calendars for friends. 

When entering a new event, you can 
mark it as Public, Shows As Busy, or 
Private. Normally, a Private event 
doesn't appear when others view your 
calendar. Events marked Shows As 
Busy do appear but without any event 
details. Public events are listed for all to 
see with complete details. You cannot, 
however, hide events from anyone you 
allow to modify your calendar. Such 
users can see all details associated with 



any event marked Shows As Busy. 
These users can also see entries for 
Private events, although they can't see 
additional details, and they're not al- 
lowed to modify Private events. 

To set a repeating event, click the 
Show link next to the Repeating header 
and provide the proper information. If 
you want to invite others to the event, 
you can add their email addresses in 
the Invitations section. (As before, 
click the Show link first.) Finally, in 
the Reminders section, you can set 
various alerts. By default, you'll re- 
ceive an email alert in your Yahoo! 
Mail inbox 15 minutes before an 
event. But you can opt to receive re- 
minders via Yahoo! Messenger or on 
your mobile phone. 

Share With Others 

Part of the flexibility of Web-based 
calendars is the ability to share your 
schedule with others and let others 
modify you calendar. Click the Sharing 
link in the upper- right corner of your 
calendar's home page to set your 
sharing options. By default, your cal- 
endar isn't shared with anyone. If you 
want, you can share you calendar with 
other Yahoo! users you designate as 
friends or with anyone who has a 
Yahoo! ID. If you opt to share only 
with friends, click Edit List under My 
Friends and enter your friend's Yahoo! 
ID. In the Calendar Preferences drop- 
down list, you can decide whether or 
not your friend should be able to 
modify your calendar (referred to as 
Special Friends). If you opt to share 
you calendar with everyone, you can 
decide whether or not Special Friends 
are able to modify your calendar. 

Yahoo! Calendar has its limitations 
(alerts, for instance, are only minimally 
useful unless you provide a cell phone 
number), but it is an easy way to coordi- 
nate your schedule with your colleagues, 
whether they're business associates or 
friends. Just remember to check your 
calendar on a regular basis. H 

by Chad Denton 



104 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



c 



Yahool's 
Member Directory 

How To Search & Find Yahoo! Member Information 



Yahool's Member Directory 
(members.yahoo.com) helps 
you locate Yahoo! users. The 
directory provides several search 
options based on information 
such as username, geograph- 
ical location, and interests. 
However, not all Yahoo! users 
are displayed in the Member- 
ship Directory. Users who 
want to remain private can 
do so. And those who do want 
a listing in the directory must 
create a Yahoo! Public Profile. 

Create Your Public Profile 

The Yahoo! Member Directory lists 
users with Yahoo! Public Profiles. A 
Public Profile is a Web page full of in- 
formation that users can choose to 
provide about themselves. When 
users create a Public Profile, they can 
opt to add it to Yahool's Member 
Directory. Although you choose 
whether to add your profile to the di- 
rectory, your profile automatically 
will be available in other areas of 
Yahoo! such as chat rooms and mes- 
sage boards. To create a profile, users 
must be at least 13 years of age. 

If you have a Yahoo! ID, you have a 
Profile on Yahoo!. Click the View My 
Profiles link at the top of the Yahoo! 
Member Directory home page. You 
can click the Create New Public 
Profile button to create a new profile 
or click the Edit link just below that 
button to edit your default profile. If 
you click Edit, you can change your 
personal information, such as your 
age, your job, and your latest news, 




and also change Display Options, 
such as Add This Profile To The 
Yahoo! Member Directory. You can 
also edit your profile by going to your 
profile page and clicking the Edit 
Profile Information link. 

If you create a new profile, the 
process is pretty much the same as 
editing an existing profile. You'll start 
by creating a new profile name in Step 
1. Next you can fill out some personal 
information (as you would when 
editing an existing profile). In Step 3 
you'll choose Display Options. Click 
Create Profile at the bottom of the 
page when you're done. Your new 
profile is ready to go. 

Search For Members 

The basic search page at members 
.yahoo.com lets you select options to 
search profiles by Real Name, Yahoo! 
ID, and Interest. You can enter this 



information in the Find People On 
Yahoo! section at the top of the search 
page. You can also select an option to 
display only those users that provide 
photos. This basic Yahoo! Member 
Directory search displays 500 results 
for each query. 

If you want to locate members 
based on their interests, you can use 
the links on the left to browse Yahoo! 
Interests categories such as Family & 
Home or Games. As you select links, 
the results divide into smaller subcat- 
egories that you can use to pinpoint 
members with specific interests. 

To expand the number of 
search options for the Yahoo! 
Member Directory, click the 
Advanced Search link below 
Find People on Yahoo! at the 
top of the Member Directory 
home page. The Advanced 
Search screen provides nine 
search fields. It also has a 
few options for find- 
ing profiles with pic- 
tures or profiles that 
belong to members who are 
currently online. Complete 
one or more of the fields and 
then click the Submit Search but- 
ton at the bottom of the page to dis- 
play the search results. 

The search results page lists the 
Yahoo! Public Profiles that meet your 
search criteria. The results show the 
information the members chose to 
make public. The information always 
includes an online name that links to 
the user's profile. It may or may not 
include a link for email, a link for 
Yahoo! Messenger, an emoticon that 
indicates whether the user is online, 
or demographic information such as 
gender, age, city, and state. 

Yahool's Member Directory gives 
Yahoo! users the opportunity to be 
contacted, if they so choose. By 
making this an optional feature, 
Yahoo! keeps control in the hands of 
the user. Qjs] 

by Carmen Carmack 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 105 



Business Services 



Yahoo! Small Business Center 

Increase Your Productivity With Tools From Yahoo! 



Using the Internet to further 
your small business can be a 
daunting task if you don't un- 
derstand the technical issues. Fortu- 
nately, the folks at Yahoo! have taken 
the guesswork out of using the Internet 
for your business with their Small 
Business Center (smallbusiness. yahoo 
.com). Here's a quick rundown of its 
notable features. 

Get Your Own Domain 

In order to take your business on- 
line, you'll need a domain name. Your 
domain name is the address of your 
Web site on the Internet where poten- 
tial clients or customers can find infor- 
mation about your business. Yahoo! 
offers specialized domain name regis- 
tration along with a customizable 
starter page to post at your new Web 
address. See "Domain Names" on page 
1 10 for more information. 

Set Up A Company Web Site 

After you've gotten your personal 
domain name set up, you'll need to put 
your Web site online. Your own per- 
sonalized Web site will get information 
about your company to the entire 
world, not just your town or state. See 
"Yahoo! Web Hosting & Merchant 
Solutions" on page 107 for information 
on designing a professional Web site, 
complete with ecommerce tools, 
without any previous experience. 

Email Services 

In order for you to appear profes- 
sional to colleagues and potential 
clients, your email address should 
match your business domain name. In 



addition to providing you with 
that domain name, Yahoo! Bus- 
iness Email will provide you 
with a personalized email ad- 
dress to match. See "Business 
Email Accounts" on page 111 
for details. 

Marketing Tools 

You've got a product or service 
and a Web site you can use to show it 
off. Now all you need is a way to bring 
people to your page. Yahoo! Marketing 
Tools service provides a search engine 
and online yellow page listing, email 
marketing tools, and online advertising 
to help make sure people have every 
opportunity to find out about your 
Web site. To find out more, see "Small 
Business Savvy" on page 112. 

Web Access 

The most high-tech, up-to-date Web 
site in the world won't do you any 
good if you don't have the bandwidth 
to handle the traffic. In a world of in- 
stant gratification, a slow Internet con- 
nection can be a virtual killer. DSL 
Internet Access from SBC Yahoo! will 
give you faster access to online services, 
as well as an always -on Internet con- 
nection that still allows you to talk on 
the phone. See "Internet Access" on 
page 116 to read about their personal- 
ized content, customized features, and 
state-of-the-art security features. 

Recruiting Services 

Once your small business starts to 
make the transition to a not- so -small 
one, you'll need to expand your infra- 
structure. Recruiting help over the 




Internet reaches a broader audience 
than TV, radio, or local newspaper ads 
ever could. It will also allow you to use 
digital media for a flashier presenta- 
tion, let potential employees find you 
using an online search engine, and pro- 
vide shorter lead times and faster ser- 
vice by posting the same day you 
submit your ad. See "Yahoo! Hot Jobs" 
on page 118 for more information 
about posting a recruiting ad online. 

Helpful Resources 

You'll undoubtedly want to seek 
out good advice for running your 
business throughout every step of its 
development. Yahoo! has provided an 
entire knowledgebase of support ma- 
terial covering a wide range of topics, 
from starting your business to finan- 
cial and legal concerns. To learn 
more, see "Articles & Other Resour- 
ces" on page 119. 

You've already done the hard part: 
getting your small business off the 
ground. Let Yahoo! Small Business 
Center help you take the next step. H 

by David Miller 



106 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Business Services 



Web Hosting & 
Merchant Solutions 



Get Your Small Business Off The Starting Block 



Have you built the better 
mousetrap? Maybe you've 
always been imbued with 
an uncanny knack for selling the 
most unmarketable items to the 
toughest customers. Perhaps 
you've devised an original ser- 
vice you think will have throngs 
of people lined up with their 
wallets open, ready to spend with 
wild abandon. 

Yahoo! is ready to help you take 
your business plan and put it motion, 
as well as take your existing Web site, 
polish it up, and present the shiny new 
version to the rest of the online world. 
Whether you plan on starting from 
scratch or making improvements to an 
existing site, Yahoo! offers two services 
to give you the boost you've been 
looking for: Yahoo! Web Hosting 
(sbs.smallbusiness.yahoo.com 
/webhosting)and Yahoo! Merchant 
Solutions (sbs.smallbusiness. yahoo 
.com/merchant). 

Merchant Solutions 

Using Yahoo! Merchant Solutions 
provides tools to help your customers 
easily pay for their orders and help 
you move those orders from the 
warehouse floor to the back of a UPS 
delivery truck. You'll be able to spend 
more time focusing on using profits 
to grow your business instead of fig- 
uring out how to configure your site 
to accept credit card payments online. 

Sell it. If you've ever used eBay 
(www.ebay.com), you're probably fa- 
miliar with PayPal (www.paypal.com), 
a service that accepts credit card 




payments for transactions completed 
over the Internet. Users with existing 
PayPal accounts can use Yahoo! 
Merchant Solutions to configure their 
site to accept credit card payments. 
(Yahoo! does not supply a PayPal ac- 
count with its service.) 

You can also use a merchant ac- 
count to setup up your Web site to re- 
ceive payment via credit card. A 
merchant account is an agreement be- 
tween a merchant and a bank (or 
third party on behalf of a bank) to ac- 
cept credit card transactions and 
settle funds through bank associations 
such as Master Card or Visa. 

To thwart fraudulent credit card 
purchases, Yahoo!'s Risk Tools can 
verify a purchaser's address and con- 
firm that it corresponds with the three- 
or four-digit security code associated 
with the card used for the transaction. 

Tools you might normally take for 
granted (such as a shopping cart func- 
tion, tax tables, and a central order 
management system that lets shoppers 



view, approve, and print their orders) 
are standard with Merchant Solutions. 
The service also configures your store- 
front to send automatic order confir- 
mations and status update emails. 

Ship it. The most advanced order 
system in the world won't do you any 
good if you can't properly send your 
merchandise out the door. All three 
packages let you establish rules for 
shipping methods and rate calcula- 
tion. Yahoo! Merchant Solutions also 
provides automated UPS shipment 
processing, and the Standard and 
Professional packages can export cus- 
tomers' orders to UPS Worldship. 
Manage it. Keeping track of those 
improved mousetraps is crucial to 
avoid delays when they start flying 
out of your warehouse. The last 
thing you want to tell your cus- 
tomers is that a product shortage 
will keep them from receiving their 
better mousetrap. 

You can receive inventory alerts if 
your in stock products fall below a pre- 
set level. These inventory alerts will 
help you know when to reorder and 
avoid depletion of your products. 

Yahoo! Merchant Solutions also 
gives you the ability to maintain your 
catalog with the Catalog Manager. 
This tool lets you view, edit, and sort 
your product information. Also, 
you'll be able to make changes offline 
because you can upload and down- 
load product information to the 
Catalog Manager. 

Discount it. The Standard and 
Professional packages give merchants 
additional capabilities found on most 
Internet storefronts. With these pack- 
ages, you can set your site to create 
and accept gift certificates. Similarly, 
the Coupon Manager produces cou- 
pons redeemable at your store for 
purchase discounts or free shipping. 
Customers with coupons simply 
enter their coupon code during the 
checkout process, and the Coupon 
Manager automatically calculates and 
displays their savings. You can also 
set the tool to track a particular 
coupon's performance. 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 107 



Business Services 



Merchant Solutions Differences 



Yahoo! Merchant Services includes many more features than those listed, but 
we highlighted differences in each package, so you can pick what's best for 
your business. 

Starter Standard Professional 



Pricing 


Monthly Hosting Fee 


$39.95* 


$99.95 


$299.95 


Setup Fee 


$50** 


$50 


$50 


Transaction Fee 


1.50% 


1% 


0.75% 


Order Processing 


Receive orders via fax 


No 


Yes 


Yes 


Post order data in real time 
to external databases or 
applications 


No 


Yes 


Yes 


Shipping Tools 


Export orders to UPS 
Worldship 


No 


Yes 


Yes 


Merchandising 


Gift certificates 


No 


Yes 


Yes 


Cross-sell engine 


No 


Yes 


Yes 


Coupon manager 


No 


Yes 


Yes 


Trackable links 


No 


Yes 


Yes 


Statistics 



Click trails (shows you how No 
customers navigate through 
your site when they make 
a purchase) 

Frequent search topics No 

for your site 



Estimated Sales Volume 



Recommend for expected $0 - $1 1,999 

monthly sales between 



Yes 



Yes 



Yes 



Yes 



$12,000 -$79,999 $80,000 
and up 



*Monthly Hostings Fee reduced to $29.96 for three months at press time 
**Setup fee waived at press time 



The Cross-Sell Engine is a fancy way 
of saying Yahoo! Merchant Solutions' 
Standard and Professional packages 
enable your Web site to automatically 
and suggestively promote products to a 
customer based on her current pur- 
chases. For example, you can set the 
Cross-Sell Engine to push a spare 
memory card, case, and photo printer 
to anyone who buys a digital camera 
from your site. 

Finally, if you and another business 
owner decide to form a partnership 
that refers traffic to each other's site, 



Yahoo! supports trackable links to 
show the monthly sales generated from 
site referrals. For example, if you decide 
to give 5% of a sale to the business that 
refers traffic to your business' site, the 
trackable links will let you determine 
that total. 

Promote it. Forming partnerships 
with other businesses for referrals is 
one way to drum up traffic to your 
site, but Yahoo! Merchant Solutions 
provides its members with discounts 
for several popular advertising ser- 
vices, such as listings on shopping 



domains such as Yahoo! Shopping 
(shopping.yahoo.com), BizRate (www 
.bizrate.com), and Shopping.com. 
Other discounted services are search 
engine keyword ads, such as Yahoo! 
Sponsored Search and Google Ad- 
Words, which display your ad if it 
matches a relevant search. Other mar- 
keting options include email and di- 
rect marketing campaigns. 

Site design and email. Yahoo! won't 
actually build your business's Web 
site, but it does give you the necessary 
tools to construct a fantastic online 
storefront. Hundreds of templates are 
available for you to use, and Yahoo! 
provides a Merchant Solution Exten- 
sion for Macromedia Dreamweaver 
(www.macromedia.com) to customers 
familiar with this Web design soft- 
ware. (Dreamweaver itself is sold sep- 
arately.) Yahoo! Merchant Solutions 
also supports Microsoft FrontPage 
(purchased separately). 

You'll receive 1,000 email accounts 
with a 2GB storage limit per account 
regardless of the Merchant Solutions 
package you choose. SpamGuard Plus 
and Norton Antivirus are included to 
protect your accounts from a deluge of 
unsolicited junk email and catch 
viruses before they can affect your 
system, respectively. 

Pay the piper. You may notice that 
the Standard and Professional packages 
are identical, save one important differ- 
ence: the transaction fee. The Starter, 
Standard, and Professional packages 
carry transaction fees of 1.5%, 1%, and 
0.75%, respectively. This is the per- 
centage of a sale Yahoo! receives for 
hosting your business's site. 

Even though you might think you're 
saving money by signing up for the 
Standard package, you could pay more 
in the long run if your transaction fees 
exceed the price difference between the 
Standard and Professional packages. 

Web Hosting 

Although Yahoo! Merchant Solu- 
tions provides a treasure chest of instru- 
ments to build a professional-looking 



108 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Business Services 



store, Yahoo! Web Hosting isn't infe- 
rior because it has fewer tools. Given 
the right business, a Web Hosting plan 
could save you money and bring you 
the same profit. 

There are similarities between 
Yahoo! Merchant Solutions and Web 
Hosting. Both services give you mar- 
keting discounts to promote your site 
and support Dreamweaver and Front- 
Page. And if you have neither one of 
these products, Yahoo! 's SiteBuilder is 
included with both services as a free 
means to construct your Web site. 

When you consider the three Yahoo! 
Web Hosting plans, use the expected 
number of monthly visitors and how 
many pages you plan on using on your 
Web site as a barometer. If your Web 
site is still in its infant stages, beginning 
with the Starter plan will support up to 
500,000 monthly visitors. 

The available disk space Yahoo! 
makes available to store your Web 
pages may seem quite generous at 
first glance (Yahoo! estimates that a 
starter plan's available storage will 



support about 25,000 Web pages), but 
any site you develop that can also 
store input from visitors (for ex- 
ample, an online forum where lengthy 
discussions among users can add 
many pages) will start to consume 
that space. As your Web site expands 
to include more pages, upgrading to 
the Standard or Professional plan will 
prevent it from experiencing any 
growing pains. 

Key Differences: A Case Study 

We used a featured site from each 
of the services to provide an example 
of how choosing either Yahoo! 
Merchant Solutions or Yahoo! Web 
Hosting yields different results. We'll 
highlight variations in the sites to 
give you an idea of what you want for 
your business. 

Geoffrey Roderick Photography 
(www.roderickphotography.com) 
served as our example of a business 
using Yahoo! Web Hosting. This East 
Coast photographer used Yahoo! 



Web Hosting Differences 



Unlike Yahoo! Merchant Services, Yahoo! Web Hosting plans don't differ 
much. Aside from obvious differences in monthly fees, you'll have the same 
tools available to construct your Web page regardless of the plan you pick. 



Starter 


Standard 


Professional 


Pricing 


Monthly Hosting Fee $11.95* 


$19.95 


$39.95 


Setup Fee $25** 


$25 


$25 


Web Site Data Management 


Disk space (available 5GB (about 
to store files) 25,000 pages) 


10GB (about 
50,000 pages) 


(about 100,000 
pages) 



Available monthly 
bandwidth (amount 
of data that can 
be transferred from 
your site) 



Communications 



Business email 
addresses 



200GB (about 
500,000 
monthly 
visitors) 



200 



400GB (about 1 500GB (about 1.2 
million monthly million monthly 
visitors) visitors) 



500 



1,000 



*Monthly Hosting Fee reduced to $8.96 for three months at press time 
**Setup Fee waived at press time 



SiteBuilder to construct the business' 
Web site. It features plenty of pic- 
tures, pricing options, and a Web 
form for individuals interested in 
contacting Roderick Photography. 
Although the site will give visitors a 
good idea of what the business is and 
what services it offers, there aren't 
any products you can actually pur- 
chase via the site itself. 

Because our publication is rooted 
in providing a positive computing ex- 
perience, we decided to use Xoxide 
(www.xoxide.com) as an example of 
what you can do with Yahoo! Mer- 
chant Solutions' Professional Package. 
Xoxide is a haven for custom compu- 
ter builders, selling everything from il- 
luminated keyboards to high-end 
power supplies. You can easily buy 
products on the site, and Xoxide sug- 
gests optional items for certain prod- 
ucts you buy. 

Goods Or Services 

An observation of Yahoo! featured 
sites for each of its services reveals 
that Yahoo! Merchant Solutions is 
the preferred service for businesses 
using their Web site to sell their 
products. In fact, selling products 
through your Web site virtually 
locks you into purchasing a Mer- 
chant Solutions plan because Yahoo! 
will want the extra revenue it can 
earn through transaction fees. Ya- 
hoo! Web Hosting customers, on the 
other hand, tend to be companies 
that feature services or offer catalogs 
through the mail. 

Because you can upgrade or 
downgrade your plans at anytime, 
Yahoo! Merchant Solutions and 
Web Hosting packages will adapt to 
your needs. And if you need more of 
a particular feature, such as addi- 
tional email addresses, Yahoo! lets 
you take an a la carte approach to 
adding extras. 

And that means good business for 
your business. H 

BY VlNCE COGLEY 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 109 



Business Services 



Domain 
Names 

Yahoo! Domains Is A 
Convenient Option 



Before you jump into creating a 
Web site for your small busi- 
ness, you need to first register a 
domain name. The domain name 
forms the address that people use to 
access your site. You may also register a 
domain name if you want to reserve it 
for future use, or if it's similar to a 
name you already reserved. Domain 
name registration is one of the services 
that Yahoo! Small Business (smallbusi 
ness.yahoo.com) offers. 

What You Get 

With Yahoo! Domains you can reg- 
ister your domain name using the TLD 
(top-level domain) designations of 
.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, and .us. 

When you register a domain name 
with Yahoo! Domains you can sign 
up for one, two, three, or five years 
at $9.95 per year (Yahoo! was offer- 
ing discounts on names recently, so the 
cost may be lower); use a Web-based 
domain name management tool; and 
create a customizable starter Web page. 
You can also use a Yahoo! mailbox to 
receive email sent to your domain 
name, forward the domain name to an 
existing site, and access 24-hour email 
and toll-free telephone support. You 
also have the option to subscribe to 
Yahoo! email and Web hosting plans 
and use the domain locking feature. 

If you want to register a domain 
name for personal use rather than busi- 
ness use, you can do so with Yahoo! 
Domains. However, if your goal is to 




create a per- 
sonal Web site, 
check out Yahoo!'s Geo- 
Cities service (geocities.yahoo.com). 
GeoCities is designed specifically for 
low- traffic, personal Web sites. It offers 
free and low-cost service options. 

Register & Manage A New Domain 

The Yahoo! Domains service is lo- 
cated at smallbusiness.yahoo.com 
/domains. To register, click the Sign Up 
button. The service displays a tool that 
searches for the domain name you 
want to register. Type the name and 
the TLD extension and click Search. If 
the name is already in use, Yahoo! sug- 
gests alternatives. 

After you successfully define a do- 
main name to register, Yahoo! Small 
Business gives you four options for ser- 
vice packages and pricing. For our pur- 
poses we'll assume you want to proceed 
with the domain name registration 
only. After you select your service level 
and duration, you will log in with your 
Yahoo! ID so you can provide your 
payment and contact information. 

The next page discusses the private 
registration option Yahoo! Domains 
offers. All domain name registrations 
are listed in the WHOIS (www.whois 
.net) public database. For $9 per year, 
Yahoo! will keep your contact informa- 
tion private; if you opt not to privatize, 
anyone can view this information. 

To complete the registration process 
Yahoo! Domains displays a summary 



page for you to review. After 

you click the button to place 

your order, a confirmation 

page displays. At the 

bottom of the page, you 

can click the Manage 

My Services button to 

view the Web-based 

Domain Control Panel 

where you perform 

management tasks. 



Register An Existing 
Domain Name 



If you already own a domain 
name and want to use a Yahoo! ser- 
vice, such as email or Web hosting, you 
need to register with Yahoo!. This 
process, known as redelegation, assigns 
Yahoo! as the provider of services for 
your existing domain name. However, 
it does not change the domain name 
registrar, which is the company re- 
sponsible for holding records and man- 
aging renewals for a domain name. A 
registrar transfer changes the domain 
name registrar. Yahoo! does not offer 
registrar transfers at this time, but you 
can request redelegation without a reg- 
istrar transfer. 

To use your existing domain name 
with Yahoo! email or Web-hosting 
services, go to the Yahoo! Domains 
page. Below the Already Have A 
Domain Name? area, click the Use It 
With A Yahoo! Plan link and follow the 
prompts to select the desired service. 

Low-Cost Domain Names 

Yahoo! Domains is a convenient, 
low-cost solution for domain name 
registration. With tie-ins to Yahoo!'s 
email, Web -hosting, and other small- 
business- related services, it is definitely 
worth consideration. But, it isn't the 
only game in town. GoDaddy.com is 
another service that has cashed in on 
the low-cost domain name registration 
model. It also offers a range of domain 
name and related services. H 

by Carmen Carmack 



110 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Business Services 



Business Email 
Accounts 



Give Your Company Email 
A Professional Edge 



You've probably been familiar 
with Yahool's popular free 
personal email service for 
a long time. But what if you need 
business-oriented email services so 
that your email addresses reflect your 
professional domain name instead of 
@yahoo.com? Well, you can get that, 
too, with Yahoo! Business Email 
(smallbusiness.yahoo.com/email). 

Know Your Options 

The service offers two different 
packages: Custom Mailbox and 
Business Mail. Custom Mailbox of- 
fers only one email address, which is 
more appropriate for self-employed 
business owners who don't need 
more email addresses. Business 
Mail comes with 10 addresses using 
the same domain name (such as 
@yourbiz.com) with options to add 
more later, as needed. This works 
well for a growing small business. 
If you have an existing domain 
name, you can continue using it; 
otherwise, you can create a new one 
at no extra cost. 

Custom Mailbox costs $34.95 per 
year, while Business Mail costs $9.95 
per month plus a one time $25 set up 
fee. Both accounts have 2GB email 
storage per email address, an email 
message size limit of 20MB, a one- 
page starter Web site, email antivirus 
and spam protection, email address 
blocking of up to 200 addresses, up to 
50 filters, and 24-hour toll-free cus- 
tomer support. 




Business Mail also comes with 
email forwarding. This useful feature 
will redirect emails sent to a specific 
address to the primary email account 
to your chosen primary accounts, 
meaning that your team will only 
need to check their email in one 
place. For an extra charge, you can 
add up to 2,000 addresses. The charge 
depends on the number of added 
email addresses. For 20 more ad- 
dresses, for example, the cost is an 
extra $10 per month on top of the 
monthly fee. For an extra $50 per 
month, you can add 100 addresses to 
the original 10 that are included with 
Business Mail. 

You have the flexibility to upgrade 
and change plans at any time. How- 
ever, as of press time, there were not 
currently any options to upgrade be- 
yond the 2GB storage capacity for 
email accounts. 

Set Up Your Account 

Before starting, determine what do- 
main name you want, if you don't al- 
ready have one. If you're having 
trouble coming up with a name, 



Yahoo! offers tips for selecting one 
(smallbusiness.yahoo.com/email/faq 
.php#5). Enter the desired domain 
name into the Search For A Domain 
Name field and click Search to see if 
it's available. If not, keep tweaking 
and checking its availability until 
you hit the jackpot. If you have a 
domain name, it's easy to 
move it to Yahoo!. Go to 
smallbusiness.yahoo.com 
/domains/redelegation 
.php for information re- 
garding this process. 

The one page starter 
Web page, which you'll 
build using the Starter 
Web Page Wizard, isn't 
fancy, but using it will help 
your company to quickly 
build an online presence. The 
page allows limited text and 
comes with eight predesigned tem- 
plates. Yahoo! offers a more feature- 
rich option for building a Web site, 
but it isn't part of the business mail 
package and has additional costs 
depending on the selected plan. 
For more information, see "Web 
Hosting & Merchant Solutions" on 
page 107. 

Look for the Manage My Services 
button in the upper-right corner of 
any page of the Yahoo! Small Business 
Web site. Click it to access your ac- 
count information and the Business 
Control Panel anytime. The step-by- 
step process in the control panel will 
help you set up your email addresses 
or you can reference the Getting 
Started guide there. 

Yahoo! Custom Mailbox and Bus- 
iness Mail support POP3 to access 
your email accounts, so you can use 
your favorite computer email pro- 
grams, such as Outlook, Eudora, and 
Thunderbird. Yahoo! has step-by-step 
instructions to set up your email pro- 
gram to work with Yahool's email ac- 
counts at help.yahoo.com/help/us 
/bizmail/config/config-44.html. Qjs] 

by Meryl Evans 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 111 



Business Services 



Small Business 
Savvy 



Yahool's Tools Help Create 
Web Commerce Powerhouses 



After your small business is 
up and running, you can 
maximize success by tak- 
ing your goods and services 
online. But with billions of 
other Web sites crowding the 
Internet, you need a way to 
make yours stand out, and 
that's where Yahool's Small 
Business Marketing Tools 
can become an important 
weapon in your online mar- 
keting arsenal. 

Before you think it, you 
should know that the Small 
Business site isn't just for adver 
tising your Web site. It's designed to 
help you build, maintain, and market 
your business' Web presence, all with 
resources you find right on Yahoo!. 

Big Features For Small Biz 

Yahoo! Small Business is a mul- 
tifaceted site with dozens of tools 
designed to empower your business. 
For starters you can go to the Yahoo! 
Domains page and register a mem- 
orable domain name for your busi- 
ness. Of course you'll need access to 
the Internet, too, and Yahoo! Inter- 
net access will help you connect to 
the rest of the Web. Then you can 
use the Web Hosting tools to create a 
professional-looking Web site and 
employ Yahoo! Merchant Solutions 
to build an online store and start 
selling your products and services 
right from your site. 




With the Yahoo! Marketing Tools 
page, you'll find plenty of tools for 
spreading the word about your com- 
pany's products. And you can use 
Yahoo! to access Hotjobs recruiting 
services and find the kinds of em- 
ployees you need to pursue your 
business dreams. 

Log on now. It's not impossible 
to create and maintain a Web site 
using dial-up Internet access. But 
having high-speed access makes it 
much easier to conduct business in a 
quick and responsive manner, and 
that's why Yahoo! touts its Internet 
access services. 

You can choose Yahoo! Dial, 
which is the company's dial-up ser- 
vice, for $15.95 per month, but you'll 



get much faster data transfer speeds 
with SBC Yahoo! DSL (Digital Sub- 
scriber Line) access. As of press time, 
Express DSL service was priced at 
$29.99 per month and provided 
download speeds of as much as 
1.5Mbps (megabits per second). The 
Pro DSL service was priced at $34.99 
per month, with speeds of 1.5 to 
3Mbps. These services are available 
only in certain areas. 

The big leap. You need a domain 
name before you can establish any 
sort of business online. With Yahoo! 
Domains you can create a new domain 
name or make your existing domain 
name compatible with Yahool's other 
small-business tools. 

A domain name, of course, is 
simply the alphanumeric combi- 
nation (www.your-company- 
name.com, for example) that 
clients use to access your 
company's Web site. Yahoo! 
Domains will help you find 
and register a domain name 
that's not already in use and 
then offers tips for building 
your site. In the event that you 
already have a domain name, 
Yahoo! Domains will help you 
reconfigure (or "redelegate") your 
domain name to make it work with 
Yahool's other small-business ser- 
vices such as email. When you choose 
a domain name, Yahoo! will prompt 
you to choose an extension (such as 
.com, .net, .biz, among others). 

The prices for using Yahoo! to reg- 
ister a domain name vary depending 
on which services you opt for. If you 
want only the domain name, you 
will pay $9.95 per year. If you sign up 
for other Small Business options, 
however, you can knock that price 
down to as low as $2.99 per year. 
Your payment gives you access to 
Yahool's customer support; domain 
forwarding, which lets you create 
new domain names that point to 
your existing Web site; email for- 
warding; and a control panel that lets 
you manage all of the different com- 
ponents of your domain name. 



112 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Business Services 



Getting Started with Yahoo! Business Solutions 



Domain Maine 



Business Email 



The Helpful Host 

Registering your domain name is 
just one step toward making your busi- 
ness Web site a reality. Yahoo! Small 
Business can help you take another step 
by providing site hosting services. 

Yahoo! has three levels of 
Web hosting service avail- 
able: Starter ($11.95 per 
month), Standard ($19.95 
per month), and Profes- 
sional ($39.95 per month). 
As of press time, new users 
who signed up for at least 
three months of service re- 
ceived 25% discounts on 
these monthly prices; so for 
example, the price for Pro- 
fessional hosting dropped 
to $29.96. 

Each hosting option of- 
fers the same basic features. 
As you move up the price 
scale, you'll see more extras 
thrown into the mix as 
Yahoo! lures you to up- 
grade. With the Starter ser- 
vice, you receive a domain name; 200 
email addresses for your domain 
name; tools that help you design your 
Web site; 5GB of hard drive space; 
and 200GB per month of bandwidth, 
which refers to the data transfer be- 
tween your Web site and your cus- 
tomers. You also receive 24-hour 
toll-free technical support, a control 
panel that details your Web site's 
traffic, security tools that help you 
protect customer information and 
back up your Web site, and a feature 
that lets you insert PayPal buttons 
that give your visitors the power to 
buy products or offer donations. 

The Standard option includes all of 
the Starter kits tools and expands 
upon them. You get 10GB of storage, 
500 email addresses (with 2GB of 
storage for each email account), 
400GB of bandwidth, a full suite of 
Web site templates, Yahool's Site- 
Builder software, and support for 
third-party Web design software such 
as Microsoft FrontPage. 



This option supports Perl scripting, 
which helps you construct interactive 
components such as customer sur- 
veys. PHP (PHP Hypertext Processor) 
and MySQL support mean you can 
create customer databases and then 
personalize your site depending on 




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ariety of web-based services 



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If you aren't sure how to start an online business, Yahoo! provides 
step-by-step instructions written expressly for beginners. 



their preferences. With the Standard 
hosting, you can construct communi- 
cations tools, such as guest books, dis- 
cussion boards, and other features 
that help visitors interact with you 
and with other customers, too. 

Pick the Professional package, and 
you'll receive even more extras. You 
get 20GB of drive space, 500GB of 
bandwidth to support very heavy site 
traffic, and 1,000 email addresses. 

With each package Yahoo! offers 
discounts on its marketing services. 
You'll get cash credits toward keyword 
search advertisements, a free trial pe- 
riod for the Got Campaigner email 
marketing tool, and more. 

What's In Store For You 

Setting up a professional-looking 
site complete with product shots, dis- 
cussion forms, and interactive tools is 
a major accomplishment, but until 
customers can safely buy your wares, 
you still have a lot of work to do. 



Using Yahoo! Merchant Solutions, 
you'll have the means to set up your 
site to sell. 

Yahoo !'s Merchant products build 

onto many of the features found in 

this company's Web site hosting 

packages. That means if you really 

want to set up a site for 

selling, you can bypass the 

hosting section of the Small 

Business site and skip 

straight to the Merchant 

Solutions area. 

As with Yahoo! Web 
hosting, there are three 
levels of Merchant Solu- 
tions services available, 
from Starter ($39.95 per 
month) to Standard ($99.95 
per month) to Professional 
($299.95 per month). By 
signing up for three months 
of service you receive a 25% 
discount on these prices for 
three months. Each package 
includes transaction fees to 
help Yahoo! maintain your 
site. Those per-transaction 
fees are 1.5%, 1%, and 0.75%, for the 
Starter, Standard, and Professional 
services, respectively. 

Invest in the Merchant Starter ser- 
vice, and you'll receive a domain name 
complete with 1,000 business email ac- 
counts. You also get every one of the 
features found in Yahoo! 's Professional 
Web hosting package, including busi- 
ness-worthy bandwidth and extra 
drive space for your site data. 

You can use the Catalog Man- 
ager to track product inventory and 
update pricing and details for each 
item you sell. This feature also lets 
you create as many as 50 categories 
for your products. With those cate- 
gories in place, you'll be able to sort 
by different product traits; for ex- 
ample, you could immediately deter- 
mine how many yellow softballs you 
have remaining in inventory. Catalog 
Manager lets you set up inventory 
alerts that will let you know when 
quantity for a certain item drops 
below a preset threshold. 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 113 



Business Services 



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Order processing is another major 
component included with Merchant 
Solutions services. Using Yahool's 
features you'll be able to accept 
credit card payments and configure 
Risk Tools designed to automatically 
verify credit card information. Other 
components help you create shop- 
ping cart and checkout procedures, 
set up tax tables for customers from 
around the country, and customize 
order confirmation and status up- 
date emails that help your visitors 
feel more secure about buying from 
your site. 

More shipping and selling. Yahool's 
shipping tools let you control shipping 
methods and rate calculations, and 
they even help you set up automated 
UPS shipment processing complete 
with shipping label printing. You'll 
also see statistics that measure every 
aspect of your site's productivity, 
helping you to spot inefficiencies and 
capitalize on your successes. 

Upgrade to the Merchant Stan- 
dard package and you'll have even 
more power to market and sell your 
goods. Whereas the Merchant Starter 
service lets you receive orders via 
email only, the Merchant Standard 
feature lets you take orders by fax, 
too, and you can post order data 
in real time to other databases and 



programs. Merchant 
Standard also makes 
shipping easier because 
you can export orders 
to UPS Worldship, 
which enables you to 
batch process ship- 
ments from your PC. 

With the Merchant 
Standard, you can of- 
fer gift certificates to 
site visitors and set up 
a Coupon Manager 
that will help increase 
site traffic by offering 
discounts on specific 
products. The Cross- 
Sell engine detects 
which products your 
customers place in 
their shopping carts and automati- 
cally suggests related items and acces- 
sories they may want to purchase. 
Another feature helps you track 
referral links that you set up with 
partner Web sites to spread the word 
about your business. 

Opt for the Merchant Professional 
service, and you get the benefits of 
the Merchant Standard package — 
the most significant difference is 
the lower per-transaction fee that 
Yahoo! charges for the purchases 
your customers make. Yahoo! sug- 
gests that only businesses expecting 
more than $80,000 per 
month in sales use the 
Professional package 
and that Merchant 
Standard is best suited 
to businesses with ex- 
pected sales of be- 
tween $12,000 and 
$79,999 per month. 



Yahoo! provides marketing tools to 
help you spread the word. 

You might want to start with one of 
Yahool's local sponsored searches. If 
you do, when a customer uses Yahoo! 
to search for a product or service you 
offer, he will see a Sponsor Results 
link in his search results. If the cus- 
tomer clicks your link, Yahoo! will di- 
rect him to your store's information, 
and to your Web site, as well. If your 
business is a local one, you can re- 
strict the radius of your sponsored 
search to a certain geographical area; 
for example, a customer in Kansas 
won't see an ad for your Idaho-based 
pest control services. 

You can also pay for enhanced list- 
ings on Yahoo! Local, which works a 
lot like a digital version of your hard 
copy phone book's yellow pages. 
When customers search for specific 
services on Yahoo! Local, they'll see 
your enhanced listing, which includes 
detailed information, company tag- 
line, and even photos of your busi- 
ness, if you like. 

If you want to have a broader im- 
pact with your search engine-based 
advertising, you can try Yahool's 
Search Submit tools. In doing so, 
you submit your business listings for 
consideration to appear in search re- 
sults powered by Yahool's engine, 
including sites such as AltaVista, 




Advertise Your Wares 

No matter how well- 
conceived your Web 
site or how great your 
products might be, you 
won't meet your sales 
quotas if buyers don't 
find your home page. 



Marketing Tools 
Merchant Solutions 

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of these accounts for you and your employees. 



114 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Business Services 



AllTheWeb, and others. When a cus- 
tomer performs a keyword search 
that's relevant to your business, he'll 
see a link that directs him to more 
information about your products 
and services. 

You pay a submission fee and a per- 
click fee to keep your listing 
active with Search Submit. 
Rather than just pay and 
forget, Yahoo! provides daily 
reports that let you track the 
effectiveness of your listing. 

Directory directions. If you 
want your Web site listed in 
Yahoo! 's directory (dir.yahoo 
.com), which is a massive list of 
Web sites that cover just about 
every imaginable topic, you can 
complete a Directory Submit 
request. Your $299 submission 
fee means that Yahoo !'s staff 
will review your submission 
within a week and consider in- 
cluding your site in the direc- 
tory; there is, however, no 
guarantee that Yahoo! will opt 
to include your site. 

Should Yahoo! decide that 
it wants to add your site to its 
directory, you can take yet another 
step to increase your business' visi- 
bility by using Yahoo!'s Sponsor 
Listings service. In short, if you pay a 
submission fee, Yahoo! will enhance 
your site's listing in certain commer- 
cial categories in its directory. This 
service costs between $50 and $300 
per month depending on your busi- 
ness' category. 

To further expand your marketing 
options, Yahoo! also offers a Product 
Submit service. When you submit a 
product for Yahoo !'s Product Search, 
customers who search for a product 
like yours on Yahoo! or Yahoo! Shop- 
ping will see your product listing 
complete with pricing and contact in- 
formation. Yahoo! may also include 
your product in a comparison chart 
designed to help shoppers research 
goods and find the right price for a 
specific product. You'll pay a small fee 
every time a user clicks your product's 



link, and as with other Yahoo! prod- 
ucts you can view reports that track 
the effectiveness of your listing, but 
there's no submission fee to use the 
Product Submit service. 

If you want to be more aggressive, 
Yahoo! Small Business can help you 




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If you have questions about Web hosting or any number of other 
services on the Small Business site, Yahoo! provides plenty of 
answers to frequently asked questions. 



use the power of email to be proac- 
tive with your marketing efforts. The 
Campaigner tool helps you build 
a permission-based list of potential 
customers who won't mind receiv- 
ing email messages regarding your 
goods and services. Then you can 
send out newsletters, timely promo- 
tions, announcements, online cata- 
logs, and more. 

To get started you have to select a 
volume plan. For example, if you pay 
$10 per month, you can send 500 
emails; you'll pay 5 cents for each 
additional email. You can also pay 
more to increase your reach. With the 
monthly fee of $250, you'll send up to 
50,000 emails; additional emails will 
cost only around a penny each. 

Info Galore 

Yahoo! provides all the services that 
you need to create a Web site, start 



marketing, and then sell products and 
services. But these services won't do 
you much good if you still have ques- 
tions about developing and expanding 
your business. That's why Yahoo! 
Small Business features an Articles & 
Resources section that's full of extra in- 
formation about selling online. 
Here, you'll find many arti- 
cles that delve more deeply into 
the issues and challenges facing 
small-business owners who 
want to succeed on the Web. 
You'll find articles covering a 
variety of topics, such as Sales 
& Marketing, Online Business, 
Legal, Finance, and Office 
& Technology. 

Click Online Business, for 
example, and there are subcat- 
egories that divide information 
into small chunks that are easy 
to read. Categories in Online 
Business cover Connectivity 
And Access and Ecommerce, 
There is also an eBay center 
that covers all of the rewards 
and pitfalls of using the pop- 
ular auction sites to expand 
your business. 
Even if you're not looking for spe- 
cific information in the resources 
section, it's worth a few minutes of 
browsing. There's a new featured 
article every day, as well as an editor's 
choice (such as a featured article about 
paid search engine optimization) that 
will increase your understanding of 
online selling. 

Sell Yourself Silly 

Yahoo! 's Small Business page has 
a plethora of services with varying 
options to fit the needs of just about 
anyone who wants to sell his prod- 
ucts online. Whether you envision 
just a few monthly transactions or 
want to push your sales as high as 
you possibly can, Yahoo! is designed 
to help you execute your ideas with 
minimal fuss. H 

by Nathan Chandler 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 115 



Business Services 



Internet Access 

Yahoo! Partners With AT&T & Verizon To Offer 
Several Service Packages 





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VWWAVAWWWW 



DSL 



If you are a residential telephone 
customer of SBC (now AT&T) or 
Verizon, you can obtain Internet 
access through Yahoo!. Both compa- 
nies partner with Yahoo! to offer their 
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) broad- 
band Internet service. Because DSL 
uses your existing phone line to com- 
bine voice and data transmission, DSL 
service is controlled in part by your 
telephone company. 

To find out whether your telephone 
service area is eligible for AT&T or 
Verizon DSL service, go to the Yahoo! 
broadband Web site (promo.yahoo 
.com/broadband). Yahoo! provides 
links to both companies' service infor- 
mation. Before you get too far, it's wise 
to get an overview of what each service 
offers and at what cost. 

AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet 

Formerly known as SBC Yahoo! 
DSL, the name of this Yahoo! service 
recently changed after SBC acquired 
AT&T. The service is available only in 
the original 13 -state SBC local service 
region, and you must be an SBC/ AT&T 
customer to obtain it. SBC started its 
partnership with Yahoo! in 2001. 

Fees. AT&T Yahoo! High Speed 
Internet offers three packages for res- 
idential customers. The Express Pack- 
age is $14.99 per month for the first 
six months and $29.99 per month 



thereafter. This package offers down- 
load speeds as fast as 1.5Mbps (mega- 
bits per second). For advanced or 
high-demand home users, AT&T/SBC 
also offers a Pro Package that starts at 
$21.99 per month and increases to 
$34.99 per month after six months. 
Or you can pay $39.99 for a month- 
to-month plan. The Pro Package and 
the month-to-month plan offer a 
maximum download speed of 3Mbps. 

The Express and Pro Packages re- 
quire a six-month commitment and 
carry a $99 early termination fee. There 
is also a $12.95 shipping fee. With the 
six-month commitment, you receive a 
rebate equal to the $49.99 price of the 
DSL modem. If you order the month- 
to-month service, you do not receive a 
rebate for the cost of the modem. 

Features. With AT&T Yahoo! High 
Speed Internet, you receive enhanced 
Yahoo! mail that includes one main 
account and as many as 10 secondary 
email accounts, each with 2GB of 
storage. To make transferring an ex- 
isting mail account easy, you can 
download TrueSwitch software and 
automatically transfer your email, 
address book, calendar, and favorites. 
Other email-related features include 
mail forwarding and support for at- 
tachments as large as 20MB. 

For security, AT&T Yahoo! High 
Speed Internet includes spam pro- 
tection, antivirus software, pop-up 



blocker software, firewall protection, 
antispyware/adware software, and 
parental controls. To help manage pro- 
tection, you also get Dashboard, which 
is a tool that brings all security settings 
together into one interface. 

Entertainment and information fea- 
tures provide unlimited free photo 
storage, LAUNCH music videos, com- 
mercial-free radio, and free online 
games. You also get Yahoo! Messenger 
(with the Super Webcam feature) and 
a large Briefcase feature with 110MB 
of additional online storage. The online 
Briefcase lets you lock access to stored 
files and share them with others. 

Other services. In addition to the 
Express and Pro Packages for residen- 
tial customers, AT&T Yahoo! High 
Speed Internet makes similar DSL 
packages available to businesses. And if 
you need dial-up service, prices for this 
service start at $15.95 per month. 

System requirements. The mini- 
mum PC requirements for AT&T 
Yahoo! High Speed Internet are a sys- 
tem with a 266MHz processor, 64MB 
of memory (128MB recommended), 
125MB of free hard drive space, a CD- 
ROM or DVD drive, Windows 98/Me/ 
2000/XP, and an Ethernet network 
connection interface. 

Mac requirements include a Power 
PC/G3/G4 or iMac computer, 64MB 
of memory (128MB recommended), 
100MB of free hard drive space, a CD- 
ROM or DVD drive, Mac OS 8.6 to OS 
X (excluding 10.00 to 10.04), and an 
Ethernet network connection interface. 

Installation and support. Within 
one to two weeks of placing your order 
online, you'll receive a welcome pack- 
age and installation kit in the mail. The 
package contains instructions, a DSL 
modem, phone-line filter, cables, and 
installation software on CD. You are 
expected to install the hardware and 
software yourself. However, you can 
request a technician to conduct the in- 
stallation for an additional charge. 

If you need assistance at anytime, 
AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet 
offers toll-free customer service 24/7. 
You can also get help via email. 



116 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Business Services 



Verizon Yahoo! DSL 

As we noted previously, Verizon 
Yahoo! DSL is available only to Ver- 
izon residential telephone customers. 
The features are similar to the AT&T 
Yahoo! High Speed Internet service, 
but there are some differences in price 
and service offerings. 

Fees. Verizon offers three DSL 
service levels through Yahoo!. The 
least expensive service is $14.95 per 
month for a one-year subscription. 
The DSL speed for this plan tops out at 
768Kbps (kilobits per second). If you 
want a faster connection, you can pay 
$21.95 per month for three months 
and $29.95 per month for the re- 
maining nine months of the first year's 
subscription. This plan and a $37.95 
month-to-month plan offer DSL 
download speeds at a rate of as much 
as 3Mbps. 

When you place your order, you 
pay $19.95 for shipping and acti- 
vation. Plans with a yearly subscrip- 
tion come with a modem at no 
charge. In addition, with a one-year 
plan you can opt for a modem and a 
wireless router at a cost of $14.95. 
And if you cancel the year-long plan 
before it expires, you'll pay a $79 ter- 
mination fee. If you opt for the 
month-to-month plan, you can pur- 
chase a modem from Verizon for 
$39.95. At this time, Verizon Yahoo! 
DSL does not offer plans for business 
users or for dial-up service. 

Features. With Verizon Yahoo! 
DSL, you receive enhanced Yahoo! 
mail with a main email account and 
10 sub accounts, each with 2GB of 
storage. You can download True- 
Switch software and automatically 
transfer your email, address book, cal- 
endar, and favorites. And, similar to 
AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet, 
you get email- related features such as 
mail forwarding and support for 
20MB attachments. 

In the area of security, Verizon 
Yahoo! DSL offers nearly everything 
that AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Inter- 
net offers, including spam protection, 



antivirus software, pop-up blocker 
software, parental controls, and Dash- 
board. However, you don't get firewall 
or antispyware/adware software. 

Entertainment and information fea- 
tures also provide unlimited free photo 
storage, LAUNCH music videos, com- 
mercial-free radio, and free online 
games. You also get Yahoo! Messenger 
(with the Super Webcam capability) 
and the briefcase feature with 100MB 
of additional online storage. 

Other services. Depending on your 
location, you may be eligible for Ver- 
izon's FiOS Internet service. This ser- 
vice uses fiber-optic technology to 
deliver broadband Internet capability at 
downstream connection speeds ranging 
from 5 to 30Mbps. 

The FiOS service has a different or- 
dering and installation process than the 
DSL plans. If your home telephone is 
capable of using FiOS Internet, Verizon 
will inform you after you enter your 
telephone number online to check for 
service, as we described at the begin- 
ning of this article. Prices range from 
$34.95 per month to $199.95 per 
month. You can learn more at the 
Verizon Web site (www.verizon.com). 

System requirements. To use Ver- 
izon Yahoo! DSL, your PC needs to 
meet the minimum requirements of 
Win98/Me/2000/XP; an Intel Pentium 
processor or equivalent with 233MHz 
for Win98/Me/2000 or 300MHz for 
WinXP; 64MB of memory for Win98/ 
Me and 128MB of memory for Win 
2000/XP; 125MB of free hard drive 
space; a CD-ROM or DVD drive; and a 
USB port or Ethernet network connec- 
tion interface. 

If you use a Mac, minimum require- 
ments include OS 8.6 to OS X (ex- 
cluding 10.00 to 10.04) a 120MHz 
PowerPC processor, 64MB of memory 
(128MB recommended), 100MB of 
free hard drive space, a CD-ROM or 
DVD drive, and an Ethernet network 
connection interface. 

Installation and support. After you 
place your order, which you can do on- 
line, you will receive a DSL self- installa- 
tion kit in three to five business days. 







mm 



You can add AT&T Wi-Fi service to your 
AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet plan 
for access to Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide, 
for an added cost. 



The kit includes a CD with instruc- 
tions, a modem, cables, phone-line fil- 
ters, and documentation. Verizon 
Yahoo! DSL offers a 30-day money- 
back guarantee and 24/7 support by 
email and toll-free telephone. 

High Speed Internet & More 

In addition to broadband Internet 
access and goodies from Yahoo!, these 
services provide many tools to help you 
navigate and personalize the Web. You 
can get a customized Web browser and 
multiple personalized home pages, and 
you'll also have easy access to music 
and videos. But these features are 
rather common among today's Inter- 
net service providers. The true test of 
Yahoo! 's service is its speed and relia- 
bility. To get performance feedback 
from folks using the service, check out 
Broadbandreports.com/DSLreports 
.com at www.dslreports.com. H 

by Carmen Carmack 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 117 



Business Services 



Yahoo! HoUobs 



Find That Ideal Employee 



In 2001 Yahoo! purchased the on- 
line recruiting juggernaut Hot- 
Jobs, giving Yahool's massive 
global network of users access to Hot- 
Jobs' recruitment tools and services. 
If you're looking for a new job or new 
employees, check out Yahoo! Hotjobs. 




Apply Here 

To access Yahoo! Hotjobs, simply 
click the Hotjobs link from the list of 
services near the top of Yahool's home 
page or direct your browser to hotjobs 
.yahoo.com. When you reach the 
Yahoo! Hotjobs page, returning users 
can sign in; browse listings by entering 
keywords, a location, and a job cate- 
gory; and access links to a number of 
resources designed for job-seekers. If 
you want access to employer resources, 
click the Employer Solutions link in the 
upper right of the home page. 

The Business End 

From the Employer Solutions page, 
you can access the Post Jobs Now or 
Contact Us buttons. With the excep- 
tion of a few services, you need to use 
the Contact Us form to get in touch 
with a representative to discuss pricing 
plans and set up a username and pass- 
word. The form asks for your contact 
information, a few details about your 
company, and the products or services 
you're interested in. Click the Contact 



Us button on this page to send off the 
form. We received a call from a Yahoo! 
Hotjobs representative the day after we 
submitted our form. If you're not too 
keen on waiting, you can contact a rep- 
resentative using the toll-free phone 
number (877) 468-5627. 



DSJij 



Yahoo! Hotjobs offers its employer 
services in three tiers: Post Jobs, Search, 
and Exposure. For a detailed look, click 
the Find The Product That's Right For 
You link at the top left of the Employer 
Solutions page. The Hiring Products 
page appears with a breakdown of ser- 
vices available to employers. 

Post Jobs 

The Post Jobs category features 
three service tiers, each with different 
benefits The Job Pack is designed for 
employers looking to hire quickly. The 
service offers job posting capabilities 
for 30 or 60 days at a time, and it is the 
only recruiting service an employer 
can order online. Should you subscribe 
for the Job Pack service, you will re- 
ceive resumes directly via email. Job 
Pack prices vary by location, so you 
want to click the Order Online link for 
a quote. 

The Job Subscription service is ideal 
for long-term recruitment needs. 
When you sign up for this service and 
pay the appropriate fee, you can post 



jobs as often as necessary. The Hotjobs 
representative we spoke with said rates 
for this service product vary due to the 
highly customized nature of the service. 
The Ad Agency Service lets you post 
and edit jobs whenever you want, keep 
the post active as long as you want, and 
view tracking statistics for each posting. 

Search 

When you post jobs on Yahoo! 
Hotjobs, you can use the Resume 
Search Access service to reach as many 
as 146 million "passive users," or 
users that visit Yahoo! on a regular or 
irregular basis. This aspect of Yahoo! 
Hotjobs lets employers view posted re- 
sumes and search for exactly the right 
person for the job. 

Exposure 

Yahoo! Hotjobs also offers various 
services that help your company attract 
new employees. 

The Targeted Emails service, also 
known as Yahoo! Hotjobs Direct, gives 
an employer access to more than 80 
million job seekers. If you find poten- 
tially qualified candidates while brows- 
ing Yahool's job seekers, you can send 
them email invitations and wait for 
them to apply. 

The Recruitment Media service lets 
companies buy advertising on the var- 
ious Yahoo! sites. Employers can also 
opt for Yahool's Premium Placement 
advertising, which gives your compa- 
ny's job postings top billing when pro- 
spective employees search for a job 
using Yahool's search engine. 

Do The Math 

If you need another reason to jump 
on the Yahoo! bandwagon, Hotjobs 
is a compelling one. Whether you 
are an employer looking for employ- 
ees or unemployed and looking for 
work, Hotjobs can help you find the 
perfect match. H 

by Andrew Leibman 



118 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Business Services 



Articles 
& Resources 

Hidden Gems From Yahoo! Small Business 



L 



aunching and running a sue 
cessful business depends on ; 
number of factors, most o 
which can be summed up in a single 
word: information. Dreaming up a 
unique gadget isn't enough; if you 
don't know all the ins and outs of 
running a business, including 
legal, management, and mar- 
keting issues, your product may 
never see the light of day. 

You can spend a lot of time 
reading books or searching the Web 
for information, or you can go 
straight to the Articles & Resources 
section of the Yahoo! Small Business 
Web site (smallbusiness.yahoo.com/re 
sources). Yahoo! and its partners pro- 
vide a broad collection of information 
that can help guide you through every 
stage of starting or nurturing a business, 
from dealing with local zoning laws to 
shipping goods around the world. 

The articles and resources can also 
help you understand many of the finer 
points of business requirements and 
strategies, from choosing the best legal 
structure for your new venture to mar- 
keting your product or service. 

Site Navigation 

The articles and resources are neatly 
organized by category. The main cate- 
gories are: Getting Started, Sales & 
Marketing, Online Business, Manage- 
ment & HR, Legal, Finance, Office & 
Technology, and Business Tools. A 
category list, located near the top left of 
most pages, makes it easy to find your 
way around. The category list lets you 
go straight to the main page for each 




category or drill down through subcat- 
egories using cascading menus. For 
example, if you want to find out how to 
trademark a name, you will find the in- 
formation under the Trademark & 
Copyright link in the Legal category 
cascading menu. The category list also 
includes links to Newest Articles and 
Resources Home. 

The category list menus are a handy 
way to quickly get around, if you know 
which category should hold your 
target topic. If you're not sure where to 
look, or you simply want to cut to the 
chase, you will find a Search Our 
Resources box near the top right of 
most pages. Enter a word or phrase, 
such as unemployment taxes, and click 
the Search button. The search engine 
will quickly pull up anything that 
matches your criteria. Our search on 
unemployment taxes got 10 hits, in- 
cluding Small Business Tax Basics and 
Employer-Paid Taxes. 



Occasionally, information on the 
Small Business site will lead you to 
one of Yahoo!'s many partner sites. 
The link will usually include text 
telling you that a partner is providing 
the service or information. 

Resources Home 

Resources Home is the default 
starting point. It includes the category 
list and search box, as well as a list of 
the latest articles added to the site, a 
Today's Featured Article, and an 
Editor's Choice article or service. 
Feature articles tend to be of broad 
interest, similar to the front-page 
article in Barron's Weekly or a local 
paper's business section. 

The page also highlights some 
Yahoo! business services, such as 
ecommerce for selling goods and 
services online and domain name 
registration. Most of the high- 
lighted services can be found in the 
Products & Solutions area (small 
business.yahoo.com/business_ser 
vices). All of the Articles & Resources 
categories contain useful information, 
but we will focus on the categories and 
services that we think will be most 
useful to small business owners. 

Getting Started 

This section can help you tackle 
some of the most important decisions 
you will face when starting a busi- 
ness. There are eight subcategories: 
Franchises, Franchise Finder, Legal, 
Home Business, Business Opportu- 
nities, Finance, Business Plans, and 
Business Incorporation. 

Business Plans. Every business 
needs a blueprint. Many new busi- 
ness owners fail to make an adequate 
plan, and some skip this difficult task 
entirely. The lack of a business plan 
is behind the failure of many fledg- 
ling businesses. 

If you need a kick in the pants to get 
you to start (and finish) your business 
plan, this is the place to find it. The ar- 
ticles cover all aspects of creating a 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 119 



Business Services 



Massachusetts 



business plan, including 
why you need one. 

We like the article 
"Crafting A Business Plan 
For Your e-Business" by 
Corey Rudl of Entrepre 
neur.com because it goes 
into enough detail to help 
you get started without 
being overwhelming. It also 
provides links to other 
resources, including ser- 
vices that can help you 
research marketing strate- 
gies you might want to 
include in your plan; ser- 
vices that perform competi- 
tive analysis, to help you 
determine the strengths and 
weaknesses of your plan; 
business plan software de- 
velopers; and other business 
plan resources. 

Business Incorporation. 
This subcategory includes 
information for all 50 
states, plus the District 
of Columbia. The Incor- 
poration FAQ answers 
common questions, such as 
"What is an S corporation?" and "What 
are the advantages of incorporation?." 

When (and if) you're ready to incor- 
porate, Yahool's partner, BizFilings, 
is ready to help you do it online. 
BizFilings can process incorporation 
filings in all 50 states and the District of 
Columbia, whether you want to file as 
a Non- Profit Incorporation, a standard 
Incorporation (including S Corpor- 
ations), or an LLC (Limited Liability 
Corporation). Simply select your state 
from the State drop -down menu and 
the corporation structure from the 
Entity drop-down menu. You can 
select the basic, standard, or complete 
package, as well as add options, such as 
rush services, tax ID, or certified copies 
of the filing, to any package for addi- 
tional fees. Once you make your selec- 
tion, BizFilings will walk you through 
the process of providing the necessary 
information. This will vary by state and 
type of business entity, but in general, 



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BizFilings, one of many Yahoo! Small Business Resources partners, can 
help you file incorporation paperwork online. Select a state, entity, 
package, and options (if any), and BizFilings will walk you through the 
remaining steps of the filing process. 



you will need a business name, busi- 
ness purpose, Capital Stock informa- 
tion (number of shares, value, etc.), 
registered agent, and tax ID. BizFilings 
will then process the necessary forms 
and send you the relevant certificates 
and other paperwork. 

Franchises/Franchise Finder. Pur- 
chasing a franchise is one of many ways 
to get a head start on running your 
own business, but sifting through the 
many available franchise offerings has 
always been a headache. The Franchise 
Search feature can help you make sense 
of the possibilities by narrowing your 
search to match specific criteria. 

The Franchise Search link is lo- 
cated near the top of the Franchises 
home page. You can also access it 
directly by selecting Franchise 
Finder from the Getting Started 
cascading menu. 

Select a category, such as Travel 
/Lodging or Business Services, from 



the Category drop-down 
menu. Select an invest- 
ment level from the 
Investment drop-down 
menu. Click the Find 
Franchises button. 

The search results page 
will display any relevant 
matches, organized into 
subcategories when appro- 
priate. For example, a 
search on Home Services 
might include Building 
/Construction, Real Estate, 
and Interior Decorating 
subcategories. Click a sub- 
category to see the items it 
contains; click any item for 
a description of the fran- 
chise opportunity. Each 
description includes an on- 
line form that you can fill 
out to request additional 
information. 

The Franchise Search 
page includes a Franchise 
Center, which spotlights 
and profiles some cur- 
rently available franchises, 
and a Franchise Directory, 
which provides a list of businesses 
and franchises that are currently 
available for sale. You can request 
additional information about any 
franchise directly from the owner. 

The Franchises area also includes 
articles and resources that provide in- 
depth information about purchasing 
and managing a franchise, including 
how to decide whether purchasing a 
franchise is right for you, how to fi- 
nance a franchise, how to research a 
franchise opportunity, and what 
questions to ask a franchise owner. 

Business Tools 

At first glance, the Business Tools 
category seems a bit lightweight. It pro- 
vides a ZIP code lookup feature for the 
United States and Canada. It also pro- 
vides package tracking services for four 
major shippers (DHL, FedEx, UPS, and 
the U.S. Postal Service) in one place, 



120 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Business Services 



which is certainly handy. Of equal use- 
fulness would be a shipping calculator 
that would allow you to compare the 
cost of sending a specific package 
through each of the services. 

To access the UPS shipping tools, 
select UPS Tracking from the Business 
Tools cascading menu, click the UPS 
link near the top of the Business Tools 
home page or click the 
Full Tools link to the right 
of the UPS Tracking field 
on the Business Tools 
home page. The UPS 
Tracking Page lets you 
track up to five packages. 
It also provides access to 
three shipping tools. The 
first lets you calculate the 
time to ship a package; the 
second calculates time and 
cost; and the third locates 
a drop-off point near you. 



about merchant (credit card) ac- 
counts. If you're going to sell a 
product, you will probably need to 
accept credit cards. 

This category also includes infor- 
mation about selecting an ISP 
(Internet service provider), selecting a 
host for your Web site, and selecting 
an ecommerce provider, if you do 



trademark, copyright, patent, and 
trade law, plus a legal dictionary. Many 
of the legal subcategories are also refer- 
enced by other areas of the Web site, 
but this category brings them all 
together under one roof. 



Finance 



Resources Home > Getting Started - 



Browse By Category: 



Resources Home 
Getting Started 

Sales & Marketing 
Online Busineas 
Managements HR 

Finance 

Office & Technology 
Business Too Is 
Newest Articles 



Business Incorporation 

Powered by IS BizFJ N llgS " 

Incorporate Online 

Provided by our partner BizFilincjs. 

Incorporation FAQ 

Get the basic on incorporating 

LLC FAQ 

Learn about this popular small biz entity. 

Non-profit FAQ 

Find out if a non-profit is right for you. 

Detailed State Incorporation Into 

A state by state guide to incorporating. 



ADVERTISEMENT 




Do you need some help 
getting your business off the 
ground? The Finance cate- 
gory is a great place to learn 
about the possibilities, 
including borrowing, equi- 
ty financing, and venture 
capital. This category also 
includes information about 
accounting, finance manage- 
ment, and basic tax issues. 

Office & Technology 



Sales & Marketing 



The Business Incorporation category includes articles, frequently 
questions, and a handy online filing service. 



asked 



For many individuals, 
marketing themselves and their prod- 
ucts or services is even more painful 
than writing a business plan. Unlike 
writing a business plan, marketing is 
a recurring task, which only adds to 
the pain. 

The Sales & Marketing category in- 
cludes 1 1 subcategories that cover a 
broad range of online and offline sales 
and marketing strategies for services 
and products. You'll find information 
on how to hire a Web designer or how 
to design a Web site, if you prefer to do 
it yourself; tips on how to get your site 
listed in the major search engines; the 
pros and cons of paid search services; 
email marketing dos and don'ts; and 
pointers to help you advert disaster by 
researching the target market for a 
product or service before you sink too 
much time or money into it. 

Online Business 

Even if you don't plan to take your 
business online, this category is worth 
a look because it includes information 



plan to sell products or services on- 
line. It also includes information spe- 
cific to selling products through eBay. 

Management &HR 

Management and human resources 
issues are another area that many busi- 
ness owners would rather not think 
about, but unless you're a sole propri- 
etor, there are a number of issues that 
you can't avoid. If you will have one or 
more employees, you will need to learn 
the requirements for hiring, firing, 
workers compensation insurance, 
liabilities, and many other areas of 
employment law. 

Legal 

Not surprisingly, this category is 
quite large. It includes information 
about naming a business, choosing a 
legal structure for a business, employ- 
ment law, and working as an indepen- 
dent contractor for another business. 
It also includes information about 



Whether your business is 
large or small, you will need 
at least some basic equip- 
ment, including a telephone 
and a computer. You will find tips 
and information about basic and 
advanced equipment in this category. 



Newest Articles 

This may be the category you will 
check most often, once you get your 
business up and running. It's an 
easy way to keep up to date with 
current business information, is- 
sues, and technology. 

Get To Work 

The Yahoo! Small Business Web 
site doesn't cover every last thing you 
need to know about starting and run- 
ning a business; no single resource 
could. But it does provide a well-or- 
ganized and relatively in-depth guide 
in one easy-to-access place. The rest is 
up to you. H 

by Tom Nelson and Mary O'Connor 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 121 



Yahoo! Next 



Yahoo! Next 

A Preview Of Coming Attractions 



Yahoo! Next (next.yahoo.com) 
is the place to see Yahoo! 's col- 
lection of newly hatched fea- 
tures, products, and technologies. 
Yahoo! releases projects in beta (test) 
form at Yahoo! Next so anyone can try 
them. And you can help Yahool's de- 
velopment process by providing feed- 
back for improvements and changes 
to the products and services you try. 

For each of the features on Yahoo! 
Next, you can view an online discus- 
sion forum with user ratings in a mes- 
sage board format. To do this, click the 
Discuss With Others link that corre- 
sponds to the feature you're interested 
in. If you have a Yahoo! ID, you can log 
in to contribute your own comments 
and ratings. This is a way to provide 
feedback to Yahool's developers. 

Some items on Yahoo! Next also 
have a corresponding Read More link. 
Clicking this link takes you to more 
information, usually in the form of a 
Yahoo! blog such as the Yahoo! Search 
Blog (www.ysearchblog.com). Yahoo! 
employees often introduce new beta 
features or enhancements to existing 
features in a related Yahoo! blog. 

To try a product or service listed on 
Yahoo! Next, click the name of the beta 
feature to go to its home page. There 
you can look for an FAQ, view online 
help, and try the feature yourself. 

What's Available Next 

The items currently offered on 
Yahoo! Next cover a wide assortment 
of services that vary greatly in scope. 
For example, a beta project can be as 




Yahoo! Site Explorer uses the infor- 
mation from the Yahoo! Search index 
to list information about Web sites. 

Instant Search augments Yahoo! 
Search by displaying the top search re- 
sult as you enter your search criteria. 

Yahoo! Mobile Shopping Search 
lets you use a Web-enabled mobile 
device to search or receive alerts from 
Yahoo! Shopping. 

Yahoo! Audio Search helps you 
search most types of audio files lo- 
cated on the Web. 



simple as an add-on to 
Yahoo! Search or as 
complex as an entirely 
new product or service. 
Accordingly, we'll categorize 
each of the Yahoo! Next services 
available at press time as either an 
add-on to an existing feature or a new 
product or service. 

Add-On Features 

To enhance or extend standard 
Yahoo! features such as Yahoo! 
Search or Yahoo! Toolbar, Yahoo! 
Next offers the following: 

Open Shortcuts is a Yahoo! Search 
add-on that lets you define custom 
keywords to find information or per- 
form a task. 

Yahoo! Answers Beta 



Yahoo! Answers Beta (answers.yahoo.com) is a recent addition to the Yahoo! 
Next collection. The service resembles an online forum, where people can ask 
and answer questions. However, Yahoo! Answers differs from standard forums in 
a number of ways. For example, Yahoo! Answers has predetermined categories for 
questions, which makes it easy to find questions and answers that members have 
already worked through. 
Another difference is that 
users vote on the best answer 
for each question, and mem- 
bers earn points for taking 
action on the site, such as 
providing an answer to a 
question. To become a 
member, you need to obtain 
a Yahoo! ID (if you don't al- 
ready have one) and register 
with the service. I 



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122 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Yahoo! Next 



My Web 2.0 integrates with the 
Yahoo! Toolbar (toolbar.yahoo.com) 
to provide a method for saving and 
categorizing your favorite Web sites. 
You can also investigate the Web sites 
that others find useful. 

Yahoo! Search Subscriptions lets 
you search subscription content, such 
as Consumer Reports (www.consumer 
reports.org). This content is normally 
restricted from search engine queries, 
and you must have valid subscriptions 
to the providers you want to search. 

Yahoo! Mindset lets you control 
how to list Yahoo! Search results. You 
can choose to list the results by 
whether they are more research re- 
lated or more commercial. 

Yahoo! Q analyzes the contents of 
the Web page you're viewing and pro- 
vides a list of related search results. It 
is integrated on Yahoo! News pages 
(news.yahoo.com), and is also part of 
the Yahoo! Toolbar (toolbar.yahoo 
.com) and Yahoo! Messenger (mes 
senger.yahoo.com) . 

My Yahoo! Ticker makes it easy 
to track information (for example, 
stocks, weather, and news) that you 
subscribe to at My Yahoo! and view 
directly on your computer in a 
scrolling ticker format. 

Independent Tools 

These Yahoo! Next features can op- 
erate outside of other Yahoo! services 
as a new product or service: 

Yahoo! Answers is an online forum 
for Yahoo! Answers members to ask 
questions and provide answers. 

Yahoo! Maps provides interactive 
mapping of specific addresses and lets 
you select and view the location of 
many services, such as doctors, gas 
stations, and post offices. 

Yahoo! Podcasts lets you search for 
podcasts (audio recordings similar to 
radio programs) and listen to them on- 
line. You can also download podcasts 
to your computer or sign up to receive 
podcasts through your music software. 

Yahoo! Feed/Blog Alerts notifies 
you when new content appears on 



Web sites through an RSS (Really 
Simple Syndication) or XML (Exten- 
sible Markup Language) feed. You can 
receive the information via email, 
Yahoo! Messenger, or a mobile device. 
Yahoo! FareChase provides a 
search capability for airfare and 
hotel reservations. 

Other Beta Offerings 

Yahoo! Next does not list all of 
Yahoo !'s beta programs. For example, 
the Trip Planner beta tool, which lets 
you create custom travel guides for 
trips that you have in the works, is 
part of Yahool's Travel service at 
travel.yahoo.com. Similarly, Yahoo! 
360° beta is not featured on Yahoo! 



Next. But you can access it at 360 
.yahoo.com to share photos, create a 
blog, and share lists with family and 
friends. Yet another example of a beta 
service not listed on Yahoo! Next is 
Autos Custom beta (custom. autos 
.yahoo.com), a destination for custom 
car enthusiasts. 

Learn More 

The remaining articles in this section 
provide more information about beta 
tools featured on Yahoo! Next and in 
other areas of Yahoo!. Try some of 
them out and give feedback to partici- 
pate in the development process. Qjs] 

by Carmen Carmack 



Acquisitions Create New Services 



Acquisitions of other companies are 
a common source for new Yahoo! 
beta programs and services. Below are 
some recent examples of acquisitions 
and their relationships to current 
Yahoo! offerings. 

Flickr 

Flickr is an online digital photo man- 
agement and sharing application. 
Yahoo! purchased Flickr in March 2005 
and has incorporated its technology in 
beta versions of Yahoo! 360° 
(360.yahoo.com) and Yahoo! Trip 
Planner (travel.yahoo.com). 

DialPad 

Yahoo! purchased DialPad in June 
2005. DialPad offers software for VoIP 
(Voice over Internet Protocol, aka 
Internet telephone) calling. Yahoo! 
plans to incorporate the software in 
new versions of Yahoo! Messenger. 

Pixoria 

Yahoo! acquired Pixoria to take ad- 
vantage of a software tool called 
Konfabulator, which was developed by 
the small software company. Yahoo! 
has since incorporated Konfabulator 
into a new service dubbed Yahoo! 



Widgets (widgets.yahoo.com). Widgets 
are small applications, such a as map or 
weather widget, that run in the back- 
ground on your computer. 

del.icio.us 

Online Web favorites service 
del.icio.us was acquired by Yahoo! in 
December 2005. The service lets users 
create and share collections of their fa- 
vorite Web pages. An entry in the 
Yahoo! Search Blog (www.ysearchblog 
.com) indicates that Yahoo! plans to 
combine the bookmark capabilities of 
del.icio.us with Flickr photo-sharing 
technology, which is another recent 
Yahoo! acquisition. In addition, 
Yahoofs My Web 2.0 (myweb2.search 
.yahoo.com) offers capabilities some- 
what similar to del.icio.us. 

Webjay 

In January 2006, Yahoo! announced 
acquisition of Webjay, a company that 
develops music and video playlist 
creation and sharing technology. 
According to the Yahoo! Music Blog 
(www.ymusicblog.com), Webjay's ca- 
pabilities will beef up the playlist fea- 
tures of the new Yahoo! Music Engine 
(music.yahoo.com). I 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 123 



Yahoo! Next 



Yahoo! Maps 



Your Online Atlas 



T 



here are some 
things about 
'the good oP 
days" we'd rather 
forget. We remember 
piling into Dad's sta- 
tion wagon to em- 
bark on a voyage to 
Uncle Ned's new house 
for Thanksgiving din- 
ner. Although Dad had 
equipped himself with 
not one, but two road 
maps and flawless di- 
rections from Uncle 
Ned that "couldn't pos- 
sibly lead you down the wrong path," 
we'd find ourselves on a country road 
surrounded by farmland when we 
were looking for a brown split-level in 
the middle of suburbia. And of course, 
asking for directions at a local gas sta- 
tion would have been an affront to his 
status as head of the household. 

Thanks to Yahoo! Maps (maps 
.yahoo.com), the days of aimlessly 
driving around off the beaten path 
should be over. You can pinpoint lo- 
cations in the United States and 
Canada, get driving directions from 
Kalamazoo, Mich, to Kalamazoo, Fla., 
and email maps to your friends. 

In addition to showing you how to 
find your destinations of choice, we'll 
also guide you through Yahoo! Maps 
Beta, the future of Yahoo! Maps. 

From Here To There 

Finding a location with Yahoo! 
Maps is much like running a basic 
Yahoo! search. When you load the 



and can't wait to devour a plate of 
Tex-Mex cuisine. SmartView is a fea- 
ture that's integrated with Yahoo! 
Maps to find restaurants, shopping, 
and entertainment points of interest 
around an address you look up. In the 
right-hand column, you can expand 
the following links under SmartView 
for more options: Food & Dining, 
Recreation & Entertainment, Com- 
munity Services; Shopping & Services, 
Travel & Transportation, and Finan- 
cial & ATMs. Next, click the radio 




Yahoo! Maps home page, you'll see 
fields for street address, city and state 
or ZIP code, and country. For a pre- 
cise location, enter a street address 
and ZIP and click Get Map. 

Yahoo! Maps will load a map of the 
area surrounding the location you en- 
tered and designate the exact address 
with a star. You can zoom in and zoom 
out by clicking the plus and minus but- 
tons to the left of the map or zoom to a 
specific distance by clicking one of the 
numbers between the plus and minus 
buttons (for an idea of the level of 
zoom, Yahoo! substituted street ("st"), 
city ("city"), and state ("state") zoom 
levels for certain numbers on the scale. 
Yahoo! Maps will reload the page to the 
desired zoom level. 

If you click any of the eight com- 
pass rose buttons surrounding the 
map, Yahoo! Maps will reload the 
page in the direction you clicked 
without changing the zoom level. 

SmartView. You just checked into 
the Austin, Texas. Four Seasons hotel 



button next to a 

category you want to display. 

SmartView will display the results of 
your query, marking each location on 
the map with a bull's-eye. If you hover 
your mouse pointer over one of the 
bull's-eyes, a fly-out box will appear 
prompting you to Click Icon For More 
Info. Click the bull's-eye, and a fly-out 
menu will appear with an address, 
phone number, and More Info, Web 
Search, and Driving Directions links. 

Driving Directions. With a reliable 
printer (or a pen, paper, and steady 
hand), you can print driving direc- 
tions and deposit your uncle's "can't 
miss" directions in the wastebasket. 
At the Yahoo! Maps home page, click 
the Driving Directions link. Enter 
your starting and destination ad- 
dresses in the appropriate fields like 
you would search for a single location 
and click Get Directions. Yahoo! 
Maps will illustrate your route using 
an appropriate- size map and display 
text driving directions below. 

You'll find additional options above 
the mapped route — Send To Phone (as 
a text message; your cell phone must be 
able to receive SMS [Short Message 
Service] text messages, and additional 
charges may apply); Text Only, Printable 
Version, and Email Directions. 



124 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Yahoo! Next 



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When you look up an 
address, Yahoo! Maps 
places a star at its 
location and shows 
you some of the 
surrounding area. 



A Better (Beta) Mousetrap 

The landscape of Yahoo! Maps will 
be changing. Yahoo! Maps Beta will 
eventually become the new Yahoo! 
Maps once Yahoo! works out the kinks 
and is sure users don't experience 
problems with the upgrades. It wasn't 
official at the time of this writing, but 
as long as Yahoo! Maps Beta is avail- 
able for public use, you can take ad- 
vantage of its exciting new features. 

Yahoo! Maps reloads the Web page 
each time you zoom or click a direc- 
tional arrow to move to an adjacent 
area of the map, but Yahoo! Maps Beta 
lets you instantly move around the 
map in a fashion similar to Google's 
Google Maps service. 

On the Yahoo! Maps home 
page, click the Try It Now link 
below New Yahoo! Maps Beta. 
You'll see that finding a map of 
a specific address and driving 
directions are condensed into 
the "Get Map And Directions" 
pane. Type an address in one 
of the fields and click Go; 
Yahoo! Maps Beta will shift the 
map to that position and des- 
ignate the address with an "A" 
icon. You simply have to click 
a spot on the map and drag it 
as though you were pulling a 
paper map across a table. 

Once you enter the first 
address in the Get Map And 
Directions pane, you can 



obtain driving di- 
rections to a desti- 
nation by typing a 
second address in 
the field below 
and clicking Go. 
Driving directions 
to your new point 
B will load in the pane, and a third 
field will appear if you want driving di- 
rections to a point C (this process can 
repeat itself until you assemble an al- 
phabet soup of destinations). If you 
have more than two locations, you can 
click Roundtrip, and Yahoo! Maps 
Beta will plot the most ideal route to 
your point of origin. 

Text-only directions are absent 
from Yahoo! Maps Beta, but you can 
still create printable directions and 
send directions to an email address or 
SMS-capable cell phone. Some geo- 
graphic regions can take advantage 
of Live Traffic, a new feature that 
displays traffic accidents at fairly cur- 
rent intervals. Click the Live Traffic 
checkbox at the top of a map, and a 



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can be particularly helpful if you're unfamiliar with the locale. 



translucent box will appear in the 
bottom right-hand corner of the map 
if a live traffic report is available. 

A minimap will appear in the upper 
right-hand corner with a slider. Click 
and move the slider bar toward the plus 
icon to zoom in and toward the minus 
icon to zoom out. With the minimap, 
not only can you adjust the zoom, but 
you can also shift the main map's posi- 
tion. Click the shaded box in the center 
of the minimap and drag it in the direc- 
tion you want to shift the map. 

A smarter SmartView. If you used 
SmartView's features with Yahoo! 
Maps, you know that your Web 
browser refreshed itself as you se- 
lected categories and subcategories. 
Like repositioning the map and ad- 
justing the zoom, the Browse By 
Category feature lets you expand cate- 
gories instantly. 

Click one of the links (ATMs & 
Services, Entertainment & Shopping, 
Restaurants & Bars, and Travel) below 
Browse By Category to expand the cat- 
egory and view its subcategories. When 
you click a link for one of the subcate- 
gories, Yahoo! Maps Beta will tag any 
relevant locations with numbered flag 
icons. Hover your mouse pointer over 
one of the icons and it will expand to 
show the name of the location. You 
can click this link to reveal (if applic- 
able) a phone number, address, and the 
following links: Rate It, 
Directions To, Directions 
From, More Info. 



Destination Known 

There are a gaggle of online 
mapping sites, but you will 
find that Yahoo! Maps incor- 
porates some of the same at- 
tributes that make the main 
site so inviting. Whether you 
decide to stick with the original 
Yahoo! Maps or take the Beta 
for a spin, you should find that 
both will help you find where 
you're looking for. H 

BY VlNCE COGLEY 



which 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 125 



Yahoo! Next 



Yahoo! 
Podcast 



Radio To Go 



r 



The word "Podcast" was 
everywhere in 2005. The 
New Oxford American 
Dictionary named it the Word of 
the Year for 2005, and the Oxford 
English Dictionary itself officially 
added the word last August. 
Nonetheless, you might be 
wondering what, exactly, 
the word means. 

A podcast is essen- 
tially a radio show that's 
distributed over the Web. Internet 
audio, of course, has been around for a 
long time. The availability of broad- 
band, the development of RSS (Really 
Simple Syndication), and the upswing 
in portable digital audio devices, how- 
ever, are taking Internet audio to a 
new level. Broadband connections 
allow listeners to download more 
audio content faster than ever before. 
With RSS listeners can automatically 
download new episodes of their 
favorite shows. Meanwhile, portable 
digital audio players, such as Apple's 
popular iPod (from which podcasting 
derives its name), let listeners enjoy 
their favorite podcasts in the car, at the 
gym, or even while cleaning the house. 

Yahoo! Podcast 

There are thousands of podcasts on 
the Web. Variety means there's bound 
to be something out there you're inter- 
ested in, but it also makes finding that 
content more difficult. Yahoo! Podcast 




strives 
to help 
you find 
new podcasts 
and manage your fa- 
vorite ones. 
Yahoo! isn't alone. 
There are plenty of sites that try to help 
listeners find new shows. Most Web 
sites include a hierarchical category 
structure. In other words, if you want 
to find baseball podcasts, you might 
start in the Sports category and then 
select the Baseball subcategory. Yahoo! 
Podcast eschews categories and relies 
on tags, or short descriptions, instead. 
Listeners apply tags to specific series or 
episodes. If you search for "baseball" 
on Yahoo! Podcast, you'll see a list of 
podcasts that contain that tag. 

Front Page 

The main Yahoo! Podcast page con- 
sists of three columns. In the left 
column are exclusive and recom- 
mended podcasts. The center column 
consists of the 10 Most Popular shows. 
Clicking the Highly Rated link at the 
top will display a list of the top 10 
highest rated shows in this column. 
Finally, on the right, you'll see a 
category list at the top. These aren't 



exactly the same as the category lists 
on other sites because there are no 
subcategories. Clicking the 
Comedy category, for instance, 
pulls up series and episodes that 
other listeners have tagged 
"comedy." Near the bottom you'll 
find a list of popular tags. The 
larger the font used for the tag, the 
more popular the tag is. 
For more information about 
a show, click the show title (or 
logo/photo if it's an exclusive or rec- 
ommended show). You can also listen 
to the latest episode or subscribe to a 
series directly from the front page by 
clicking the appropriate button. 

Multiple Ways To Listen 

Yahoo! lets you enjoy your favorite 
podcasts in a variety of ways. As you'll 
notice, each podcast listed on the front 
page has a Listen and a Subscribe 
button. Clicking the Listen button 
streams the latest version of the show 
to your desktop. If you decide you like 
a show after sampling it, click the 
Subscribe button to automatically 
download new episodes. 

You can always find out more 
information about a show by clicking 
its title. This brings up a brief synopsis 
of the show and displays relevant tags. 
(Again, tags that appear larger are en- 
tered more often by listeners.) If 
you're familiar with a show, you can 
provide your own tags in the Add 
Tag field. (Separate each tag with a 
comma.) You'll also see a rating, and 
you may even see a link to listener re- 
views. At the bottom, you'll see a list 
of the most recent episodes and a brief 
summary for each episode. Click an 
episode title to learn about the 
episode. You can stream a past 
episode by clicking the Listen button 
or download an old episode by 
clicking the Download button. 

Subscribe 

By subscribing to a series, your 
computer will automatically download 



126 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Yahoo! Next 



new episodes as they become available. 
In order to subscribe to a podcast, 
you'll need a podcast aggregator. A few 
developers are integrating podcast ag- 
gregators into their software. Yahoo! 
Music Engine (music.yahoo.com/mu 
sicengine), for instance, now includes a 
podcast plug-in that lets you subscribe 
to podcasts and even browse for new 
shows directly from Yahoo! Music 
Engine. Recent versions of Apple's 
iTunes (www.apple.com/itunes) also 
include a podcast aggregator. If you 
believe smaller is better, there are 
numerous standalone aggregators. 
Juice (juicereceiver.sourceforge.net), 
formerly iPodder, is one of the more 
popular podcast aggregators. 

Yahoo! Podcast works with any 
podcast aggregator that can handle 
.pcast files. This includes iTunes and 
recent versions of Juice, as well as 
Yahoo! Music Engine. When you 
click the Subscribe button, you'll 
download a podcast file (one with a 
.pcast extension) that contains the 
subscription information. Your 
browser will ask which application 
you want to use to open the file. 
Select the podcast aggregator you 
want to use and click OK. Your aggre- 
gator will automatically import the 
subscription information from 
Yahoo! Podcast. 

You can set an aggregator to check 
for new shows at specific times. This 
way you can download new shows 
during the night and have fresh con- 
tent to listen to in the morning. 

Find A Show 

Finding a show that interests you is 
fairly straight forward. Start with a 
topic that interests you. Wine, 
for instance. Enter wine into the 
Podcast Search field, select Series in 
the drop-down list to the right, and 
click the Search button. Yahoo! 
returns a list of shows that include a 
"wine" tag. Some results may be 
more relevant than others. When we 
tried the search, the first result was a 
show called Wine Making Radio. If 



program you want to use to open 
the .pcast file. Select your podcast 
aggregator and click OK to add the 
show. You can listen to new shows 
on your PC or move them to a 
portable audio player. 

If you're into Italian wines, you 
might notice a listing for Winecast 49 
- Nebbiolo in the Most Recent 
Episodes at the bottom of the page. 
Clicking the title provides more infor- 
mation about that episode. From the 
episode page, you can click the Listen 
button to stream that episode to your 
PC or click the Download button to 
save a copy of the show to your PC. 

With so many shows to choose 
from, podcasts are a great alternative 
to satellite radio or even commercial 
radio. Just make sure you keep your 
iPod charged. H 

by Chad Denton 



you're more a consumer than a pro- 
ducer of wine, this probably isn't a 
good choice. 

The next result is Winecast by Tim 
Elliott. Clicking Winecast provides us 
with more information about the 
show. The description "Your podcast 
for straight talk on wine" isn't partic- 
ularly helpful, but you can see the tags 
most often applied to the show are 
food, wine, and winecast. When we 
ran our search, the show was only 
rated three times and only had one 
user review (which you can read by 
clicking the User Review link above 
the Recent Episodes listing). 

If you decide you want to give 
Winecast a try, click the Listen 
button to stream the latest episode 
to your PC. After listening to the 
show, you can click the Subscribe 
button to download new episodes. 
Your browser will ask you which 

Recommendations 



Looking for a few shows to get you going? Below is a list of some of our favorite 
podcasts. Searching for the podcast name in Yahoo! Podcast should bring up 
more information about the show. 

Digital Photography Tips From The Top Floor 

"Tips From The Top Floor" is a great podcast for digital photography enthusi- 
asts. Chris Marquardt provides tips and tricks for digital photographers and gets 
successful photographers to reveal their tips. 

ESPN Radio Podcast 

It's like "SportsCenter" for ESPN Radio. Catch just the daily highlights from ESPN 
Radio shows including "Mike & Mike In The Morning" and "The Dan Patrick Show." 

Hometown Tales 

"Hometown Tales" started out as a local cable television show exploring the 
bizarre local tales found in the New Jersey area. The podcast, however, goes be- 
yond New Jersey to explore bizarre tales, customs, and urban legends from 
around the world. 

Science @ NASA 

Features stories direct from NASA. Sure, you could read them online, but isn't 
more efficient to listen in the car instead? 

Winecast 

"Winecast" is usually short but highly informative and a great source for infor- 
mation about specific wine varietals. Tasting notes involving reasonably priced 
wines give you ideas for your next dinner party. I 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 127 



Yahoo! Next 



Yahoo! Site 
Explorer 



Be A Web Site Sleuth 



L 



aunched in September 2005, 
Yahoo! Search Site Explorer 
Beta (siteexplorer.search.yahoo 
.com) helps you identify the ranking of 
pages from a Web site in the Yahoo! 
Search index. Rather than 
searching for a word or 
phrase, Yahoo! Site 
Explorer lets you 
identify the URL 
(Uniform Resource 
Locator, or Web ad- 
dress) of a Web site or 
a Web page. It then displays a list of 
the Web pages that are part of the URL 
you identified, in order of popularity. 

For example, if you define www.pc 
today.com as the URL you want to 
explore, Yahoo! Site Explorer lists 
all of the Web pages within the 
PCToday.com Web site. This helps 
Web site owners verify the pages that 
Yahoo !'s search mechanism is finding 
and each page's relative popularity. Site 
owners can also determine whether im- 
portant Web pages are missing and, if 
so, submit them to Yahoo! Search. 

In addition, Yahoo! Site Explorer 
lets you examine the pages that link to 
the URL you specify. This feature is 
especially handy for Webmasters and 
search engine marketers who want to 
examine and analyze links to Web 
sites and Web pages. 

Know Your URLs 

To better understand how Yahoo! 
Site Explorer works to deliver all of 




the information 
you're looking for, it's 
important to know the 
parts of a URL. In the URL 
www.yahoo.com, for example, 
"yahoo" is the domain, "com" is the 
top-level domain, and "www" is the 
subdomain. There are many other sub- 
domains for the yahoo.com domain, 
such as "dir"; dir.yahoo.com is the 
URL for the Yahoo! Search Directory. 
The results you get from using Yahoo! 
Site Explorer can differ based on the 
URL you enter for a given site. 

Begin Searching 

To explore all of 
the pages within a 
Web site, simply de- 
fine the site's home 
page. For example, 
when you type the 
URL www.yahoo.com 
("http://" is already 
present in the search 
box and must always 
reside at the begin- 
ning of the URL), 
Yahoo! Site Explorer 
lists all the pages 
within www. yahoo 
.com. The results do 



not include pages from other subdo- 
mains, such as dir.yahoo.com. 

To explore the pages within a do- 
main, specify just the domain name; 
for example, "yahoo.com" (without the 
"www"). The results include all subdo- 
mains; in our example, results will in- 
clude both www.yahoo.com 
and dir.yahoo.com, as 
well as other Yahoo! sites 
such as mail.yahoo.com, 
maps.yahoo.com, and 
my.yahoo.com. 

You can also ex- 
plore a Web page that 
isn't a home page or 
main subdomain page. 
To explore a Web page, 
simply enter its URL. For 
example, to search the Arts page 
that's part of the Yahoo! Directory, 
you would enter dir.yahoo.com/arts. 

Explore The Results 

After performing a search, you'll see a 
Results page listing all the subpages that 
the entered URL includes in order of 
their popularity. When we entered 
"dir.yahoo.com/arts," for instance, the 
Humanities Literature In The Yahoo! 
Directory page (dir.yahoo.com/arts 
/humanities/literature) and the History 
In The Yahoo! Directory page (dir 
.yahoo.com/arts/humanities/history) 
were the No. 2 and No. 3 results, respec- 
tively. (The main Arts page was No. 1.) 

















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Yahoo! Site Explorer displays the pages that are a part of the URL 
(Uniform Resource Locator) you submit. 



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Yahoo! Next 



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You can export any results page 
from Yahoo! Site Explorer to a TSV 
(tab-separated values) file for 
viewing in a spreadsheet program 
such as Microsoft Excel. The results 
can include a list of Web pages that 
link to the URL you specify. 



For each result you can click the 
main link to view the current page, 
the Cached link to view the most re- 
cent version of the page which Yahoo! 
copied for the purpose (if it's avail- 
able), or the Explore URL link to per- 
form a Yahoo! Site Explorer search of 
that page. 

You can also export results for your 
records to a TSV (tab-separated 
values) file, which you can view in 
a spreadsheet program such as 
Microsoft Excel. To do this, click the 
TSV link in the upper-right portion of 
the results page. Follow the prompts 
to save the file to your computer. 
Note that only the items displayed 
currently are exported to the TSV file. 
If you want a list from multiple re- 
sults pages, you need to create a TSV 
file for each. 

When viewing the results of a 
Yahoo! Site Explorer search, you can 
also click Inlinks at the top of the 
Results page to view a list of Web 
pages that link to the URL you are ex- 
ploring. The results include pages that 
link from the same domain or Web 
site as the specified URL. To limit the 
results so that they're more manage- 
able, select Except From This Domain 
or Except From This Subdomain from 
the Show Inlinks drop -down menu. 

For Experts Only 

Yahoo! Site Explorer is handy for 
Web site owners and others who want 
to learn more about a site's structure 



and for learning who is link- 
ing to whom via the Web. 
But if you're a Webmaster 
looking for more detailed in- 
formation about a site's traffic 
and usage, Yahoo! offers APIs 
(application program interfaces) for 
the purpose. For more information 
about APIs for finding subpages and 
tracking inbound links, visit the Yahoo! 
Developer Network page devoted to 



Yahoo! Site Explorer at developer 
.yahoo.net/search/siteexplorer. 

And If Site Explorer 
Does Not Succeed . . . 

If a Web page or URL does not dis- 
play in the Yahoo! Site Explorer re- 
sults, it could be missing from the 
Yahoo! Search index. To be sure, 
enter the specific path of the missing 
URL in Yahoo! Site Explorer. If it 
does not display in the results, you 
can submit it to Yahoo!. Click the 
Submit Site Feed Or URLs link. 
Follow the onscreen information for 
the submission process, which re- 
quires a Yahoo! ID. [Ijs] 

by Carmen Carmack 



Yahoo! Site Explorer Highlights 

What it does: Yahoo! Site Explorer lets you investigate the structure and popu- 
larity of a Web site or Web page. It also provides details about other Web sites or 
pages that link to the site or page you are exploring. 

How it works: Yahoo! Site Explorer uses information in the Yahoo! Search data- 
base to report the status of a Web site or Web page as viewed by the Yahoo! 
Search engine. It can help Web site owners identify the success of their search en- 
gine strategy and the popularity of specific pages on the site. 

Sample use: In this example, we'll use Yahoo! Site Explorer to examine the char- 
acteristics of the PC Today Web site. 

To begin, go to siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com to access the Yahoo! Site 
Explorer page. 

In the search box under Yahoo! Search Site Explorer Beta, add the URL 
(Uniform Resource Locator) of the Web site or Web page you want to explore; 
the "http://" is already present. For our example, type www.pctoday.com. Click 
the Explore URL button. 

The Results page displays links to the first 50 Web pages found in the www.pc 
today.com Web site. 

A list of the total number of pages identified displays at the top. Because there 
are more than 50 Web pages, you can click the Next link on the bottom of the 
page to view additional results. 

To submit a page in the results list to a Yahoo! Site Explorer search, click the 
corresponding Explore URL link. 

To see what Web pages link to www.pctoday.com, click the Inlinks link at the 
top of the results page. 

To limit the type of inlinks displayed for the URL www.pctoday.com, select 
Except From This Domain or Except From This Subdomain from the Show Inlinks 
drop-down menu. 

To save a TSV (tab-separated values) of the results to your PC, click the TSV 
link in the upper-right portion of the results page. Follow the prompts to save the 
file, which you can then open using a spreadsheet application. I 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 129 



Yahoo! Next 



Instant Search 

This Tool Could Change The Way You Search 



We are creatures 
of habit, even 
as new tech- 
nology attempts to change 
our routines. 

You may not think 
about your online habits, 
but the Web sites you visit sure do. 
That includes search sites, those por- 
tals you pass through to get to where 
you want to go. 

Search engines are enormously pop- 
ular places on the Web. Last summer 
comScore Media Metrix conducted a 
search engine ratings survey, reported 
on Search Engine Watch (search 
enginewatch.com). Tracking the habits 
of a million Web users in the United 
States, comScore Media Metrix found 
that users conducted searches most 
at the Google (36.5%) and Yahoo! 
(30.5%) families of search sites. 

Given this tight race for domina- 
tion among search engines, it's no 
surprise that Google and Yahoo! con- 
tinually offer new and, hopefully, im- 
proved features. At Yahoo! Next 
(next.yahoo.com), we found a fea- 
ture, Yahoo! Instant Search Beta, that 
has the potential to change your 
searching habits. 

One Letter At A Time 

If Instant Search lives up to its 
name when some kinks are worked 
out (and thus the "Beta" is dropped), 
you might get hooked on a new way 
of searching. 

To try the test version, go to the 
Yahoo! Next page and click on the 
Instant Search Beta link. Or just 



Instant Search Beta offers a list of ex- 
amples on its home page with which 
you can test this new tool, suggesting 
that you can be right instead of lucky — 
a jab at rival Google's "I'm Feeling 
Lucky" search tool (www.google.com). 
That tool displays the Web page linked 
to the first result in the list of returns 
Google generates when you conduct a 
search. If you're lucky, it will be the 
page you're looking for. (NOTE: Google 




type instant.search.yahoo.com in 
your browser. 

There are two distinguishing fea- 
tures about Instant Search. First, search 
results can change after each letter is 
typed. This is somewhat similar to 
Internet Explorer's AutoComplete fea- 
ture, though that tool finds matches 
from a much smaller database, limited 
to data you've already entered. 

The search results won't change 
each time you type another letter in 
every search you conduct. As you'll 
see, we had mixed results when 
testing this feature. 

A second distinguishing character- 
istic of Instant Search is that search 
results appear automatically. Unlike 
when you conduct a Web search on 
Yahoo!, you don't need to click a 
button or press ENTER to see a list of 
results. As you type letters in the 
search field, one or more results will 
appear below the field as soon as 
Instant Search has enough informa- 
tion to yield a return from Yahoo! 
Shortcuts and databases from other 
common searches. 

Or, you can click the Search the 
Web button to the right of the search 
field for more results that will appear 
on new pages. 



also has an in- 
stant search tool in the 
beta stage: Google Suggest, available at 
labs.google.com.) 

One of the search examples Instant 
Search lists is "nfl." If you enter these 
letters, a link to the Official Site of the 
National Football League (www.nfl 
.com) appears under the search field. 
Compare that with a Web search of 
"nfl." That uncovered a whopping 147 
million results, including top returns 
from the official NFL site, Yahoo! 
pages, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and 
Pro Football Weekly. 

Instant Search, in theory, quickly 
and automatically displays the most 
logical result based on your query, even 
if your query is only a couple of letters 
long. What it lacks in potential results, 
Instant Search hopes to compensate for 
in convenience and accuracy. 

That said, the beta version of 
Instant Search isn't perfect. 

A Work In Progress? 

It would be easy to get caught up 
in the hype of a tool that promises 
even faster results with less effort on 



130 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Yahoo! Next 



your part. True, Instant Search has 
the potential for that, but after 
playing around with the beta version, 
you may wonder if the benefits are 
that noticeable. 

First, let's address the speed issue. 
It's not as if search engines have to 
grind out their returns. For that Web- 
wide "nfl" search we conducted on 
Yahoo! Search, it took less than two 



■^j 



t&HOOf SEARCH 



Instant Search 



- .. . 

; ?:■■»:■-■;•?: " ■-■ 






Instant Search can display links to Chicago pizzerias without 
the need to search the Web. 



seconds to type the letters and see the 
first page of links — not enough time 
to get bored, frustrated, or order any- 
thing from Amazon.com as we waited. 

Second, realize that the "one letter 
at a time" feature of this search engine 
won't always work correctly or work 
the way you might expect. We found 
this out when trying to use Instant 
Search to hunt for restaurants in 
Kansas City and Chicago. 

We typed in "kc." Nothing hap- 
pened. We added "barbecue." Still 
nothing. So we clicked the Search The 
Web button, and Yahoo! returned 
more than 300,000 results. The first 
nonsponsored link was to Kansas 
City Bar-B-Q Connection (www.rbjb 
.com/rbjb/bbq.htm), a site that in- 
cluded a page filled with informa- 
tion about dozens of KC's barbecue 
eateries. Another top link was for the 
Kansas City restaurant guide (www 
.kcrestaurantguide.com) . 

As we started to type "chicago," 
Instant Search displayed a link to three 
other sites, one at a time, including the 



Chi-Chi's Salsa site (chichissalsa.com). 
Not until we typed in all of "chicago" 
did we see a link referencing the city. 
In this case, it was the official City of 
Chicago site (www.ci.chi.il.us). Still 
seeking info on the Windy City's 
famed pizza joints, we typed in 
"pizza." After we entered both words, 
we received a few links to pizza restau- 
rants from Yahoo! Local, but a Web 
search provided many more. 

Third, Instant Search 
can't read your mind. Like 
other search tools, it can re- 
turn what it rates as the best 
match for your query, but 
it's still up to users to word 
their searches in the best 
possible way. Your may need 
to revise your search terms 
for better results. 

We found it frustrating 
that Instant Search relies 
so much on content from 
Yahoo! Shortcuts (tools 
.search.yahoo.com/short 
cuts), a collection of search- 
ing categories that can cut down on 
your search time. That may appeal to 
some users, but others prefer to skip 
over Yahoo! content when searching 
and go straight to the content gleaned 
from the Web. 

Here's an example of why Yahoo! 
content isn't always the best result. As 
mentioned, typing in "nfl" in the 
Instant Search immediately displays 
the link to the official site of that 
league. That's the most logical site a 
user would be looking for with that 
term. But if you type in "packers" in 
Instant Search, meaning the NFL 
team from Green Bay, you get a link 
to a Yahoo! Shortcut page, not to the 
official Packers site. 



What We Like 

Though Instant Search Beta clearly 
has much room for improvement, we 
like the aim of this new tool. If Instant 
Search can give you immediate, accu- 
rate results without the need to con- 
duct a full Web search and possibly 



scroll through pages of returns, what 
user won't like it? 

We also like the automated aspect 
of Instant Search. Again, it's not per- 
fect at this point; the tool may display 
links that having nothing to do with 
what you're looking for as you type 
your search terms. The return of the 
Chi-Chi's link for our Chicago pizza 
search is proof of that. 

Form A New Habit 

Any registered Yahoo! user can in- 
corporate Instant Search results by 
clicking the Preferences link on a 
Web search results page. Obviously, 
Yahoo! is hoping enough users will 
want to make Instant Search a perma- 
nent part of their Yahoo! experience. 
More users may develop that habit 
when Yahoo! tweaks Instant Search to 
rely a little less on Shortcuts and re- 
turn the best the Web has to offer. Qjs] 

by Rachel Derowitsch 

Instant Search 
Highlights 

What it does: Searches for the 
most relevant link in response to 
each letter you type. 

How it works: Uses Ajax, a group 
of Web technologies that let Web 
clients download new information 
without reconnecting to the server 
at each request. 

Sample use: Let's say you want to 
check on traffic conditions in Los 
Angeles. When you type la, you'll re- 
ceive a link to the official Web site of 
Los Angeles. After you add "traffic/' 
Instant Search returns a link to a 
map on Yahoo! Local. That's OK, but 
a Web search gave us better results. 

One trick to using Instant Search is 
to type each letter slow enough to see 
the links that may pop up with each 
keystroke. On the other hand, don't 
type too slowly, or you'll negate the 
"Instant" aspect of Instant Search. I 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 131 



Yahoo! Next 



Mobile 

Shopping 

Search 

Bargain Hunters Will Love This Tool-For A Price 



Knowledge is power, 
especially for shop- 
pers. Savvy shoppers 
want to know that they are 
getting the best deal on any- 
thing they buy, from a new 
car to a new sweater. 

That's why we research 
products and take store circu- 
lars, newspaper ads, and 
coupons with us when we shop. 
We expect merchants to match 
competitors' prices or explain 
how one model or brand is su- 
perior to another. 

Even then, the feeling may 
linger in our minds that some- 
where out there is a store, 
whether brick-and-mortar or 
virtual, that may offer us a better deal 
yet. That's why Yahoo! is developing 
Mobile Shopping Search: to give you 
the power of instant comparison 
shopping on the go. 

How It Works 

There's nothing particularly compli- 
cated about using Mobile Shopping 
Search Beta, which you can find by 
clicking the link of that name at the 
Yahoo! Next Web page (next.yahoo 
.com). It's simply a mechanism for re- 
questing and receiving information. 




There are two ways 
to get information from Mo- 
bile Shopping Search: with your cell 
phone and with your computer. 

Use your cell phone's Web browser 
to open the Yahoo! Shopping site 
(shopping.yahoo.com). In the search 
field, enter a product name, brand 
name, or any other specific keyword, 
such as a model number, and Yahoo! 
will display a list of related products, 
their prices, and the merchants selling 
them. It's that simple. 



Alternately, you can find similar in- 
formation from the Yahoo! Shopping 
page on your desktop or notebook PC 
and then send a text message with 
product information to your cell 
phone. On the product information 
page, click the Send To Phone link, 
enter your email address (your 
Yahoo! account address may be there 
by default), and type in the number of 
the cell phone to which you want to 
send the information. 

This helpful feature is not entirely 
new at Yahoo!. For instance, it re- 
cently added a similar feature to the 
Driving Directions tool at Yahoo! 
Maps (maps.yahoo.com/dd). 

Next to the Send To Phone link on 
the product information page is a Send 
To Friend link. Click it, and Yahoo! 
will display an email message 
explaining to your recipient 
that you found this informa- 
tion on Yahoo! Shopping, and 
you want to share it. All you 
need to do is supply the email 
address of the recipient and 
click send. (NOTE: You can 
delete the default message and 
write your own instead.) 

We like the possibilities of 
the send-to-phone feature. 
Obviously, you can use it 
yourself ahead of time so that 
your phone is loaded with re- 
search you've already con- 
ducted, thereby saving you 
time. On the other hand, if 
you're out and about, you could 
call a friend, colleague, or family 
member to look up information on 
Yahoo! shopping for you and then 
forward that link to you. This not 
only saves you search time but, de- 
pending on how your cell phone ser- 
vice provider plan is set up, it could 
spare you extra charges, as well. 

Special Considerations 

That leads us to some important 
considerations about using Mobile 
Shopping Search. Not everyone with a 
cell phone can make use of this tool, 



132 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Yahoo! Next 



and those who do use it may be sub- 
ject to extra charges. 

To use Mobile Shopping Search 
from your cell phone, the phone must 
be WAP (Wireless Application Pro- 
tocol) 2.0-enabled. WAP is a standard 
used worldwide to allow wireless de- 
vices to access services such as the 
Internet. Your cell phone's users 
manual should tell you if your phone 
is WAP -enabled, but a general guide 
is that newer cell phones with color 
screens come with this protocol. 

In addition, your cell phone calling 
plan must include Web access. Just 
because the phone is WAP-enabled 
doesn't mean you can go online with 
your phone. That feature must be part 
of your calling plan, and that usually 
means higher monthly charges. 

Not all cellular service providers 
support this shopping search tool yet. 
According to Yahoo!, Mobile Shopping 
Search currently works on Web- and 
WAP 2.0-enabled phones on Cingular 
MEdiaNet and mMode, Sprint Nextel, 
T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. 

Finally, you may incur additional 
charges from your cell phone service 
provider for using Mobile Shopping 
Search with your cell phone. Yahoo! 
will not charge you anything for using 
this tool, whether you use your 
phone, PC, or notebook. But check 
the fine print of your service plan to 
see if opening a Web page or receiving 
a text message on your phone will re- 
sult in extra charges. 

For instance, Cingular users who 
have text messaging-enabled phones 
can send and receive messages for 10 
cents a piece. This pay-as-you-go plan 
does not require customers to pay an 
extra monthly fee. Or, Cingular users 
can choose various text messaging 
plans, such as 2,500 messages a 
month for $19.99 — less than a penny 
per message. 

Or course, the most economical 
way to use Mobile Shopping Search, 
especially if you use it frequently, is to 
sign up for or switch to a service that 
bundles Web access and text mes- 
saging. Providers may offer various 



pay-as-you-go monthly plans for this 
type of service, too. Cingular, for ex- 
ample, offers several packages under 
its MEdia Bundles, but before se- 
lecting one from this or any other 
provider, you'd have to make sure it's 
available in your area. 

Search Tips 

It's safe to assume that many users 
won't approach online shopping with 
their cell phone the same way they 
shop online from a PC or notebook. 
The size of your cell phone display 
alone may test your patience. But 
given that you may incur extra fees 
for using Mobile Shopping Search, 
you'll want to be as precise as possible 
when looking for price comparison. 

To streamline your search, enter 
the product number whenever pos- 
sible. Doing so will not only drasti- 
cally reduce the number of search 
returns, but it also will narrow the re- 
sults to more closely match what 
you're looking for. 

For instance, we entered "Roomba 
Scheduler," referring to one of 
iRobot's automatic vacuums, into the 
search field. That search yielded 58 re- 
sults, most of which were for the ac- 
tual vacuum. But some results were 
for the product's optional Scheduler 
remote control package. Prices for the 
products returned ranged greatly, 
from $289.99 to $446.57. 

When we added a model number, 
4230, the search results were limited 
to just 18 — which allowed us to save 



considerable effort comparing mer- 
chants and prices. 

Another tip to remember is that the 
price listed for a vendor may be the 
MSRP, not the sale price currently 
available at that online store. We found 
this out when we clicked the link to the 
vendor (www.unbeatablesale.com) 
selling the Scheduler at the top price of 
$446.57, curious as to why it was so ex- 
pensive there. When we opened the 
vendor's site, we discovered the 
vacuum had actually been selling for 
$327.74 but was presently out of stock. 

If you shop online often, seeing the 
"out-of-stock" notice won't surprise 
you. Given that you may encounter 
that news more often than you'd like, 
it's even more important to enter as 
much information as you can in the 
Yahoo! search field. That will limit the 
number of sites you'll have to visit, 
thereby saving you time and money 
on your mobile search. 

The Shopper's Edge 

Unless you are a diehard shopper, 
you may not use Mobile Shopping 
Search that often. But when you are 
mulling over a purchase in a store, it's 
comforting to know you have the op- 
tion to get competitors' prices just by 
pulling your cell phone out of your 
pocket or purse. 

For a small fee from your cell phone 
provider, Mobile Shopping Search may 
end up saving you a lot of money. H 

by Rachel Derowitsch 



Mobile Shopping Search Highlights 

What it does: Searches the Web through Yahoo! Shopping for prices on 
product names and descriptions that you enter. 

How it works: Requires that your phone is WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) 
2.0-enabled and that you have Web access through your cell phone provider. 

Sample use: Let's say you want to buy the iriver T30 1GB AAP3 player. You've 
checked the iriver site (www.iriveramerica.com), so you know the MSRP on this 
device is $149.99. As you shop at a mall or electronics store, you can compare the 
local retailer's price against the price at iriver's Web site and use Mobile Shopping 
Search on your cell phone to find other competitors' prices. Yahoo! Shopping re- 
turned 21 results for this search. I 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 133 



Yahoo! Next 



Yahoo! 
Audio Search 

Scour The Web For Music & Sound 



Searching for music on the 
Internet is like wandering 
through a giant CD store, only 
there's no friendly clerk to help you. 
Yahoo !'s new Audio Search wants to 
change that. Yahoo! Audio Search is a 
free service that helps you find online 
music, podcasts, interviews, radio 
shows, speeches, comedy routines, 
sound effects, and more. 

Audio Search can locate commercial 
music and other audio for sale, as well 
as free content. The service has already 
indexed 50 million audio files — a lot to 
hunt through on your own but easy to 
find with Yahoo! 's help. 

Ethan Fassett, Yahoo!'s Product 
Manager for Audio Search, notes in 
his blog: "Audio publishing is 
taking on new life, and we feel we 
need to get some tools out there 
to help connect those who are 
listening to those who are 
talking, and singing, and 
sounding off." 

Start Audio Searching 

To use Yahoo! Audio 
Search, browse to the Audio 
Search Web page: www.audio 
.search.yahoo.com. You'll find a 
simple interface with a text box in 
which you can enter your search 
term. By default, Yahoo! searches for 
audio among three different cate- 
gories: Music, where you'll find 
songs from commercial, indepen- 
dent, and amateur artists; 
Podcasts, which uncovers 



news, interviews, opinions, radio 
shows, and other online broadcasts; 
and Other Audio, where you'll un- 
earth free music, sound effects, and 
themes from TV shows and movies. 

Enter your search term, such as an 
artist's name or song title, and Yahoo! 
delivers a page of links to the audio 
file. From the results page, you can 
narrow your search by type: You can 
choose only Music, Podcasts, or Other 
Audio, if you like. Click Music, and 
the page refreshes with links to songs 
by just the selected artist or title. 




Get The Music 

Alongside each song title is the 
artist's name, the album that origi- 
nally included the tune, and the year 
it was released. Many songs also pro- 
vide a Sample button that lets you 
listen to a 30-second clip. Click the 
song's album to see a list of all tracks 
on the CD. Select the artist's name, 
and up pops a list of all of his or her 
albums. From the album page, you'll 
also find links to biographies of the 
artist, upcoming concert dates, and 
reviews of the song or album. 

Go back and click the link to any 
song title and up pops a page listing the 
online providers where you can down- 
load and buy the tune. Yahoo! has its 
own music stores, Yahoo! Music 
Unlimited and Musicmatch (which it 
bought in 2004). But Yahoo! has also 
arranged for other major music stores, 
such as iTunes, Napster, and MSN 
Music, and more obscure ones such as 
AudioLunchBox, GarageBand, and 
MP34U, to include them in the search 
results. Ethan Fassett notes in his blog, 
". . .we give everyone a voice: from the 
major music services with access to the 
newest and largest mainstream cata- 
logs, to the smallest, independent pub- 
lisher." If you have a favorite service, 
such as iTunes, you can limit your 
results to just that one provider. 
Each audio service tells you 
the format of the song (WMA 
[Windows Media Audio], MP3, 
RealAudio, etc.), whether or 
not you can burn the track to a 
CD or copy it, and its price. 
A Download button then 
whisks you to the provider of 
your choice where you can 
preview the song and pay for 
the download. 



Find Podcasts & Other Audio 

Yahoo! Audio Search can also 

scour the Web for podcasts, digging 

up online newscasts, interviews, 

speeches, and radio shows. 

Searching for podcasts 



134 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Yahoo! Next 



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Audio Results 

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More Opllons>> 



Original Soundtrack- Beautiful Boy (Doling Boy; 
- John Lennon 14:06) -n^i™ 



I download location (of this audio tile 
Album: Mad About You (1997) 
Search for Reviews 



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-■ John Lennon - Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy} (4:04) 



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More info on VI Mu 



John Lennon - Beautiful Boy (Darling Boyj [fr] 

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Album; Antholog y (Capflol. 199C> 
Search tor Re views 

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Album: Anthology (Cap*o|. 2005) 
Search tor Reviews 

John Lennon. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy} (4: Oh 

1 download location tor this audio file 

Album: Working Class Hero: The Definite Lennon (Capitol. 2005) 

Search tor Re views 



John Lennon & Paul 

McCartney 

I album tor mis artist 



Enter your search term, 
and the results page 
brings up links to your 
song or audio file. 



works the same as searching for 
music. Clicking the link to a podcast 
brings up a list of Web sites where 
you'll find the file and see the for- 
mat, length, size, and quality of the 



audio. Click one of 
the Web site links to 
listen to or down- 
load the podcast. 

The third option 
at Audio Search lets 
you search Other 
Audio, a catch-all 
category that hunts 
for sound effects, di- 
alogue, and themes from movies and 
TV shows, and also free music. 
Clicking the link to one of these files 
displays the Web sites from which 
you can download it. 



Submit Your Own Sounds 

If you record your own music or 
Podcasts, you can send Yahoo! links 
to that content to include in the 
Audio Search results. To learn more 
about this feature, check out the Web 
pagesearch.yahoo.com/mrss/submit. 

Got An Opinion Or A Question? 

Share your feedback about Audio 
Search with Yahoo! at add. yahoo 
.com/fast/help/us/ysearch/cgi_audio 
search. You can also trade questions, 
advice, and help with other users by 
joining the Audio Search discussion 
forum at add.yahoo. com/fast/help/us 
/ysearch/cgi_audiosearch. Qjs] 

by Lance Whitney 



Yahoo! Audio Search Highlights 



What it does: Yahoo! 

Audio Search scours the 
Internet for audio files. You'll 
find music, podcasts, sound 
bytes, TV and movie dia- 
logue, and sound effects; 
most of it is for sale, but 
much of which you can 
download for free. 

How it works: Enter your 
search term at the Audio 
Search Web page. You can 
refine your search to look for 
Music, Podcasts, Other 
Audio, or all three. After 
Yahoo! finds your results, just 
click the audio title to find 
the site or service from which 
you can download and, if re- 
quired, purchase it. 

Sample use: Browse to the 
Yahoo! Audio Search Page 
(audio.search.yahoo.com) 
and enter your search term. 
Let's say you're looking for 
music by John Lennon. Enter 
John Lennon in the search 
field, and Yahoo! delivers not 
just links to his songs but 



also podcasts and other con- 
tent: radio interviews with 
Lennon, newscasts from the 
night he was killed, and re- 
membrances from last year's 
25th anniversary of his death. 

From the results page, you 
can narrow your search by 
type, choosing just music by 
clicking the Music link. The 
search refreshes to display 
only songs by the late Beatle. 
You find a song you like, 
John's recording of "Beauti- 
ful Boy." You click the 
Sample button to listen to a 
30-second clip of it and de- 
cide to buy it. Click the song 
title, and you see that 
Rhapsody, BuyMusic.com, 
PassAlong, and Yahoo! Music 
Unlimited all offer it, with 
most of them selling it for 99 
cents. Click the Download 
link for Music Unlimited, and 
up pops the site from which 
you buy the song. 

Suppose you want to listen 
to news and advice about 



one of your favorite topics: 
computers. Go back to the 
Audio Search page by clicking 
Yahoo! Audio Search Home 
and enter computers as your 
search term. Select Podcasts 
to refine your search. You'll 
then see links to online radio 
shows discussing computers, 
audio tutorials on popular 
software, lectures from 
Harvard on PC technology, 
and interviews with tech 
company execs. Yahoofs 
Podcast results page typically 
provides two links to play the 
files: an RSS (Real Simple 
Syndication) link, which re- 
quires that you have an RSS 
reader, and a My Yahoo! link, 
which plays the audio 
through Yahoo!. Click the My 
Yahoo! link for one of the 
Harvard lectures and sit back 
to listen to your free audio 
education. 

Now let's say that you 
want to replace your generic 
Windows sound effects with 



more interesting sounds, per- 
haps quotes from a famous 
TV star. You search for 
"Homer Simpson" at the 
main search page and specify 
Other Audio. You find links 
to WAV files of Homer's 
most memorable lines, in- 
cluding "D'oh" and 
"Hmmm...beer." You click 
the links to download these 
free files and set them up as 
your new Windows greeting 
and exit lines. 

With Other Audio you can 
also find free songs. In a clas- 
sical mood, you search for 
the "William Tell Overture" 
(better known to you chil- 
dren of the '50s as the 
"Theme to the Lone Ranger") 
and limit the search to Other 
Audio. You click several 
of the MP3 and RealAudio 
links to this classical tune 
and find a free version by 
the Symphony Orchestra 
Of Canada, which you listen 
to online. I 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 135 



Yahoo! Next 



Yahoo! Search 
Subscriptions 

Find Web Pages From Subscription Services 




When you go to a search en- 
gine such as Google or 
Yahoo! and you enter a 
search term or set of terms, it seems 
like the results provide access to all of 
the accumulated knowledge and 
wisdom available in the world. 
Searching for miniature cars returns 
3,460,000 entries. Searching for 
single malt scotch returns 1,400,000 
results. That's a lot of information 
about single malt scotch. (Not that 
both subjects aren't well worth 
studying, of course.) 

Many people don't realize that the 
amount of information available to a 
typical search engine only amounts to 
about 10% of the available Web pages 
on the Internet. Most of the informa- 
tion out there lies buried in the 90% 
we might call "The Invisible Web." 



Much of that "invis- 
ible Web" consists of pages 
with content so dynamic that the page 
may only exist for a few seconds. The 
Web page is too transient and the data 
it contains too customized to a spe- 
cific individual or transaction to be of 
any real use. These pages often involve 
unique database queries such as trying 
to search for homes for sale in a cer- 
tain area, checking travel information 
from Chicago to Los Angeles, or 
viewing the weather report for 
Toronto. As soon as the reader is fin- 
ished viewing the information, the 
page ceases to exist. 

Drilling For Oil 

Buried deep within the Web, even 
less accessible than dynamic database 



query pages, lie private Web sites 
where the information is only avail- 
able to paying customers. Sites such as 
Consumer Reports, The Wall Street 
Journal, and The New England Journal 
of Medicine contain a vast wealth of 
data, particularly for certain profes- 
sions that require accurate, detailed, 
and timely information. Paying cus- 
tomers who log in to the sites can 
search these sites, but the information 
is not available to the general public or 
to a standard Internet search engine. 

Paul Gil, a technical writer for 
About.com's Internet For Beginner's 
Web site, explains that subscription- 
based or paid sites make up another 
portion of the "invisible Web." "Paid 
subscription services effectively give 
you Web-enabled access to special- 
ized databases. These specialized data- 
bases are dedicated to deep content 
on a particular topic. For example, if 
you like to download music, you can 
join various legal music services that 
charge you fees to give you access to 
massive databases of MP3 songs." 

That is where Yahoo! Search 
Subscriptions comes in. Yahoo! has 
partnered with certain fee-based sites 
to index their content and make it 
available via their special Search 
Subscriptions search engine. 

Marc Strohlein, vice president and 
lead analyst for Outsell, an Internet 
market analysis company, says that 
Yahoo! Search Subscriptions is ". . .a 
very direct way for publishers to in- 
sert their content into the 'search en- 
vironment' without compromising 
their security or revenue models. In 
essence, users can search their content 
and, if they find things of interest, buy 
or sign up for subscriptions." 

Using Search Subscriptions 

On Yahoo! 's Search Subscriptions 
page, you can choose which of the 
currently available subscription con- 
tent services you want to include in 
your search. While Yahoo! is working 
to add more subscription content 
providers, the current list includes 



136 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Yahoo! Next 



Consumer Reports, Forrester Research, 
The New England Journal of Medicine, 
FT.com, IEEE Publications, Factiva, 
LexisNexis, TheStreet.com, and The 
Wall Street Journal. 

If you're conducting a search for 
information about a company, such 
as analyst reports or financial infor- 
mation, you would most likely not in- 
clude The New England Journal of 
Medicine or Consumer Reports. 

Performing a search on Yahoo! 
Search Subscriptions for Toyota hy- 
brid may yield very different results 
depending on the subscription services 
selected. Choosing Consumer Reports, 
Forrester Research, LexisNexis, and 
The Wall Street Journal results mostly 
in links to information on LexisNexis. 
If you go through the results far 
enough, though, there are also links to 
information from Forrester Research 
about the market for high-tech cars 
and a Consumer Reports article com- 
paring hybrid SUVs. 

Yahoo! Search Subscriptions can 
provide a way for users to see what 
content or information is available, but 
viewing subscription-based content 
still requires a subscription. LexisNexis 
does offer an 'AlaCarte' service, which 
allows users to purchase single articles 
on an as-needed basis, but deriving any 
value from the other subscription ser- 
vices will require signing up and paying 
the dues to gain access. 

Broadening The Search 

Rather than performing a separate 
search of subscription-based content, 
Yahoo! Search Subscriptions also of- 
fers the ability to include your selected 
subscription content services within a 
broader search of the Web. The results 
display the search of the general Web, 
but at the top of the results, beneath 
the sponsored ad links and the links 
for News Results related to the search 
topic, is a link that tells you how many 
results were found from the subscrip- 
tion content services, as well. 

This information is also available 
from the Yahoo! Search Subscriptions 



results page. At the top of the results 
display, a statement suggests, "For 
more matches, try searching all 
sources instead," with a link that per- 
forms the broader search. 

The Future Of Yahoo! Search 
Subscriptions 

Yahoo! Search Subscriptions has 
value for some. Gil says, "If the nature 
of the readers' work involved research 
of current events and specialized 
newsy content, then there is definite 
value in Yahoo! Subscriptions. Yahoo! 
effectively does Visible' and 'invisible 
Web' digging for you. People who 
could benefit from this paid service 
include speech writers and people 
who engage in formal debate over 
controversial topics or nurses who 
make school presentations on 
modern nutrition." 



The Yahoo! Search Subscriptions 
service gives users a glimpse of some 
of the vast information available in 
the hidden Internet. That can be 
useful, particularly when searches of 
the general Web prove fruitless. The 
service will no doubt improve as 
Yahoo! partners with more subscrip- 
tion content providers. 

Strohlein notes, "I think the biggest 
challenge associated with these and 
other Yahoo!/Google/MSN search- 
based services is that as additional 
buckets of information get added to 
the mix, searching becomes more and 
more disaggregated. ... I would hope 
that, at some point in the future, the 
need to go to many different places to 
search for different types of content 
becomes more transparent." [rs] 

by Tony Bradley 



Yahoo! Search Subscriptions Highlights 

What it is: Yahoo! Search Subscriptions is a new Web search engine product 
from Yahoo! that's currently in beta testing. It allows users to conduct searches of 
paid subscription-based content that is typically hidden from standard Web 
searches and provides researchers and professionals a way to leverage Web search 
capabilities to find very specific information. 

What it does: There are billions of Web pages available for general access, but in 
some areas you get what you pay for. Some sites with highly relevant and deeply 
detailed information about particular subjects require users to pay for subscrip- 
tions to access the content. For some professions, such as the medical and finan- 
cial industries, it's well worth the price of admission to get exhaustively 
researched, reliable, timely information. 

How to use: Performing a search on the term flu vaccine can produce drasti- 
cally different results, depending on the perspective you are seeking. A search on 
the general Web returns many general interest articles about the availability of 
the flu vaccine and whether or not people should get vaccinated. However, de- 
pending on which subscription sites are selected, a Yahoo! Search Subscriptions 
search provides more relevant, targeted information. 

As a consumer looking for reliable information about the flu vaccine, you 
might only check Consumer Reports. If you are in the medical profession, however, 
a search of The New England Journal of Medicine will provide comprehensive infor- 
mation and research about the flu vaccine. Users from financial and business 
arenas will find extensive information about the economic impact of the flu or 
the market potential for pharmaceutical companies that manufacture flu vaccine 
by searching sites such as The Wall Street Journal or Forrester Research. 

The caveat, however, is that you must have a paid subscription to view the full 
content. Yahoo! Search Subscriptions searches the subscription sites and displays 
the relevant results, but accessing the information requires a subscription. I 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 137 



Yahoo! Next 



Yahoo! 
Mindset 

Putting Your Web Searches In The Right Context 




If you use "plasma TV" as your 
search term on Yahoo!, the first 
page of results will be focused ex- 
clusively on information. There are 
instructional links to educate you 
about plasma TVs in general, user re- 
view links to let you get feedback 
from other plasma TV owners, and 
links to different plasma TV manufac- 
turer sites so that you can learn more 
about specific models and products. 
But what if you already had all of that 
information and you were just trying 
to search for a vendor from which 
you could purchase your plasma TV? 

You may be in luck. Yahoo !'s new 
Mindset search technology may help 
you filter and narrow your search re- 
sults so that a search will display links 
that are primarily commercial in na- 
ture, sites that are primarily informa- 
tional, in nature or somewhere in 
between, depending on the reason 
you're searching. Yahoo! describes 
Mindset as "intent- driven search" that 



will help users sort the results based on 
the purpose of the search. 

Jeremy Langhans, principal consul- 
tant with Irvine, CA-based Jeremy 
Langhans and Associates, has been 
participating in the beta testing of the 
Yahoo! Mindset service. He appreci- 
ates what Mindset has to offer. 
Langhans says, "Many search engines 
(including Yahoo!'s main one) are 
cluttered with 'commercial' results. 
Being a researcher, you find those to 
be not only a nuisance, but a time 
waster as well. Yahoo! Mindset lets you 
slide over to research- related results, in 
real-time, helping to refine your results 
into something more useful." 

How It Works 

Yahoo! Mindset is currently a beta 
product. Yahoo! has developed the 
concept and is currently testing the 
technique and fine-tuning the results. 
To prioritize the Web sites, Yahoo! 



Mindset assigns each page a score 
ranging from -2, primarily commer- 
cial, to +2, primarily informational. 

Mindset uses machine-learning 
technology to automatically classify 
Web pages based on the text they 
contain. To provide a baseline from 
which the machine learning can work, 
Yahoo! research scientists manually 
scored Web pages to develop a "seed 
set." That seed set is used by the ma- 
chine learning technology to help it 
classify Web pages automatically. 

Manual scoring of sites done by 
humans is slow, and it is also subject 
to individual interpretation. The Web 
is too large, and there 
are too many sites for 
any team of humans 
to hope to manually 
assess and classify 
each page. Machine 
learning allows Yahoo! to apply 
human-like behavior to score and 
classify the vast number of Web pages 
it encounters. 

Initially, Yahoo! research scientists 
used manual input to create a baseline 
that the machine learning could use 
as a foundation from which to build. 
Applying machine learning to auto- 
matically classify the sites can make 
searching more accurate and efficient 
and help users key in on what they are 
really looking for. 

More Mindset Features 

The Mindset search results are 
numbered, but there is also a gray 
number in parentheses next to each 
result. The gray number represents 
the default rank of that site for a 
normal search — in other words, the 
ranking the site will hold when the 
Mindset search slider is left in the 
middle. As you move the slider left or 
right, the results are filtered and re- 
ordered, but the gray number next to 
each result will identify where the site 
ranked on the original default search, 
as well. 

In an effort to retrieve the requested 
information as quickly as possible, 



138 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Yahoo! Next 



Yahoo! Mindset returns its initial re- 
sults immediately, but continues to 
scan for results in the background. As 
Jeremy Langhans explains: "Initially 
[Mindset] will give the user a quick 
and numbered results list while also 
analyzing [the] search in the back- 
ground. I like to look at the first few 
results and if I feel they could' ve done 
better, I simply click the Resubmit 
Search link and voila! I have a more 
aggregate batch of links to surf. One 
neat thing is the fact they keep the ini- 
tial [ranking number] for you to com- 
pare against the refined results." 

Mindset Improvements 

Since Mindset is still a beta product, 
Yahoo! continues to work on and im- 
prove it based on its findings and on 
user feedback. One of the primary ways 
Yahoo! intends to improve the product 
is by providing the machine learning 
engine with a much more comprehen- 
sive and accurate "seed set." The ma- 
chine learning is only as intelligent as 
the seed set on which it's basing its de- 
cisions, so providing a better seed set 
will yield better results. 

Langhans feels that Yahoo! should 
consider eliminating some of the ad- 
vertisements. Using Mindset, even if 
you move the slider to the Researching 
end of the slidebar, there will still be a 
box above the search results and a 
pane down the right side that contains 



"XXHOO' MINDSET [w 



Search | 



Search Results: 1 - 10 
shopping ' 



Ordering Results 1 - 100 cf about 11103761 for hard dri 
researching 



, ( ^bcut this page.„ 1 



Some of the Web pages matching your criteria are currently being analyzed, and will be available in a few moments 
Please click .■■ to resubmit your search 

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A search on Yahoo! Mindset for the term "hard drive/ but with the Mindset slider edged toward 
Researching rather than Shopping to target more informational Web sites. 



several ad links. Langhans notes, "I re- 
alize search engines make a living off 
the auction/lease of space on fre- 
quently-visited Web sites, but could 
they incorporate their Shopping slider 
into their Sponsored Search and . . . 
use that extra Web real estate for a user 
value-add along the lines of cus- 
tomized saved results and/or sharing 
with others in the user's Yahoo! net- 
work? This would create stickiness, in- 
crease registered guests, & potentially 
triple their traffic." 

In This Competition, You Win 

Yahoo! Research sees Mindset not 
only as a viable service, but also as a test 



of the concept of using machine 
learning in general. 

The battle for Web market share 
began with the Web browser and then 
moved to Web portal or content 
provider sites, but the current battle- 
ground is the search engine. Yahoo!, 
Google, and Microsoft are competing 
fiercely to establish their products and 
services as the default for Internet 
searches. This competition ultimately 
leads to the development of services 
such as Mindset, which benefit users 
and help people use the Web more in- 
telligently and efficiently. ® 

by Tony Bradley 



Highlights 

Yahoo! Mindset scores 
Web pages based on 
whether they provide com- 
mercial or informational con- 
tent and allows users to filter 
their search results based on 
the intent of their search. 

Intent-Driven Search 

Let's assume that you wish 
to find information about 
cell phones, including how 
they work, health concerns 



related to using them, and 
other such details. If you 
enter cell phone as your 
search terms in Yahoo! 
Mindset, your initial results 
will doubtless include a va- 
riety of Web sites aimed at 
users who are actually 
looking to purchase a cell 
phone or cell phone service. 

At the top of the search 
results screen, however, 
Mindset provides a slider 



that you can move to the far 
left if you are primarily trying 
to shop, all the way to the 
right if you just want to do 
research and gather informa- 
tion, or anywhere in be- 
tween. As you move the 
slider, the search results 
screen adjusts instantly, dis- 
playing the sites that best fit 
the intent of your search. 

Moving the slider all the 
way to the right changes the 



sites displayed so that the 
search results focus on infor- 
mation rather than sales. 
User reviews and cell phone 
vendor sites are replaced 
with Web sites explaining 
what a cell phone is and 
how it works, sites about 
using cell phones while dri- 
ving, and sites related to po- 
tential health issues from 
using cell phones. I 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 139 



Yahoo! Next 



Yahoo! Y!Q 

Providing Context-Sensitive Search 
For More Relevant Results 



Yahoo! is expending a 
significant amount of 
resources on the re- 
search and development of 
tools and services de- 
signed to help refine 
your Web searches. 
One of the tools cur- 
rently being tested is 
Yahoo! Y!Q, which 
allows users to con- 
duct intelligent, context 
sensitive searches based on 
information found within an ex- 
isting Web page. 

Aaron Ferstman, a Yahoo! spokes- 
person, describes Y!Q as ". . . the first 
product of its kind that analyzes the 
content of a Web page and provides 
consumers with contextually relevant 
search results at the moment of search 
inspiration. Y!Q helps users rapidly 
complete tasks and expand their 
knowledge by presenting related 
search results directly relevant to the 
contents of the Web page they are 
reading. It delivers these results di- 
rectly on the Web page they are 
reading, saving users time and deliv- 
ering results in context. Y!Q also 
helps users get more relevant search 
results by using the context of the 
Web page they are reading to influ- 
ence their search results." 

Digging Deeper 

Readers often wish to learn more 
about a particular subject or term 
within an article or Web page they are 
reading. They may wish to dive more 
deeply into the subject to expand 




their understanding of it, or perhaps 
they just want to clarify certain as- 
pects of the information. Either way, 
readers often conduct further Web 
searches to find the information they 
are looking for. 

By installing the Y!Q Toolbar for 
Internet Explorer or the search plug- 
in for Firefox, users can simply high- 
light words or phrases on any Web site 
and enter a query in the Y!Q search 
bar to initiate a Y!Q search that will 
provide relevant, context-sensitive re- 
sults based on the chosen terms. Users 
can also initiate a Y!Q search without 
entering an actual search query by 
choosing or highlighting words or 
phrases and clicking the Y!Q Search 
button to find results based on those 
terms. In either case, a small pop-up 
window will display the Y!Q results. 

Developing YIQ-Enabled Sites 

Web developers typically do not 
want their readers to open external 



windows or leave the site to do pe- 
ripheral research. By embedding the 
Y!Q code in a Web page, the devel- 
oper can provide deeper, richer con- 
tent and the ability for the reader to 
dig for more detail without leaving the 
site to initiate an external search. A 
small icon appears next to highlighted 
terms that have been encoded with 
Y!Q data. If a user clicks the icon, a 
small pop-up window will appear 
containing the search results. 

The search results displayed 
in the pop-up window are 
not based solely on the 
highlighted word or 
phrase, but also on the 
overall context of the 
article or Web page 
from which the search 
is being conducted. 
That means that an 
article about Apple 
Computer will return 
results relevant to the 
Apple Computer company 
rather than links to infor- 
mation about apples in general, 
recipes that use apples, or other such 
unrelated information. For embedded 
Y!Q searches, however, the context of 
the search is dependent on the coding 
the developer put into it. 

Paul Bausch, author of "Yahoo! 
Hacks," explains that "The key thing 
is that Y!Q distributes search beyond 
the confines of the search page. 
Instead of isolating the act of search- 
ing the Web to a single domain, Y!Q 
lets site authors integrate search more 
closely with their content." 

Building Momentum For Y!Q Support 

Currently, Y!Q is used extensively 
within Yahoo!, primarily on Yahoo! 
News articles. Marc Strohlein, vice 
president and lead analyst for Outsell, 
an Internet market analysis company, 
believes that getting Web developers 
to design Web pages or rebuild ex- 
isting pages to include the Y!Q coding 
may be difficult. He says that the Y!Q 
initiative may be slow in picking up 



140 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Yahoo! Next 



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A Y!Q search based on the highlighted term, "Super Bowl 
XLI, South Florida" resulted in this small pop-up window 
with links to information based on that context. 




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Court nomination - .-'---. uiiiinrjt 

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All 10 Republicans voted for Alito, while 

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with only one Democrat - Ben f 
of Nebraska — coming out so fai 
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This Yahoo! News article contains embedded Y!Q links next 
to the highlighted terms "Samuel Alito" and "Roe v. Wade." 



steam: "It requires more effort on the 
part of publishers to figure out how to 
use it, and more importantly, mone- 
tize it." 

Strohlein continues, "I would think 
that the most desirable [scenario] 
would be to use contextual search in 
one document to drive users to other 
documents that they would purchase 



or pay to view, but that clearly 
requires some thinking on the 
part of publishers." 

Many compare Yahoo! 
Y!Q and Google's AdSense 
and wonder what the motive 
is for developers. And devel- 
opers writing on the Yahoo! 
Y!Q discussion forums fre- 
quently discuss what the in- 
centive would be for them to 
invest time and effort into 
designing Web sites that di- 
rect users to Yahoo! when 
there is nothing in it for 
them monetarily. 

Although Yahoo! Y!Q may 
have the potential to offer 
Yahoo! an effective weapon 
to compete with Google Ad- 
Sense, that is not currently 
the company's focus. Yahoo! 
wants developers to embrace 
Y!Q not for the money it will 
make them directly, but for 
the chance to offer visitors 
more detailed content and 
relevant, context-sensitive 
search results without forcing 
them to leave the Web site. 
Providing richer content can 
attract more readers, and 
keeping them on the site in 
the first place offers more op- 
portunities for the site to 
make money through more 
traditional means. 

Improving Yahoo! Y!Q 



Y!Q provides some value 
for users today and may pro- 
vide much more in the fu- 
ture. There is still room for 
improvement, though. 
Paul Bausch suggests that "Instead of 
simply offering Yahoo! Web or News 
search results in Y!Q, I think they 
should include an option to limit con- 
tent to independent Web logs. They al- 
ready have a blog search engine 
incorporated within their Yahoo! News 
search; I think they could turn Y!Q 
into a service that lets others see what 



Highlights 



What it does: The Yahoo! Y!Q ser- 
vice is designed to help users search 
intelligently. Y!Q allows users to con- 
duct context-relevant searches 
based on the content of the Web 
page they are currently viewing and 
without leaving that page to per- 
form a separate search. 

How it works: Web sites that 
embed the necessary Y!Q code 
within their Web pages can provide 
readers with a means of performing 
a search for relevant results based on 
the context of the Web page and 
without forcing the reader to exit 
the Web page or perform an ex- 
ternal action to conduct the search. 

How to use: There are examples 
throughout Yahoo! News stories 
themselves. Items that are tagged 
with Y!Q information have a small 
purple icon next to them. Click the 
purple icon to open a smaller Results 
window, which displays search results 
based on the highlighted Y!Q term 
and on the context of the Web page. 

Readers can provide even more 
context for the Y!Q search by high- 
lighting terms or phrases from the 
Web page that are relevant to the 
specific details they want to re- 
search. The resulting Y!Q search will 
contain links to targeted, context- 
sensitive information to help the 
reader dig more deeply and learn 
more about the subject at hand. I 



Web logs are saying about a particular 
topic. I think they'd find more blog- 
gers integrating Y!Q into their sites. In 
other words, I think Y!Q should be 
less formal and more social." 

OutselTs Strohlein is concerned that 
too many new services and tools are 
being thrown into the search mix. It 
would be better, he says, if these prod- 
ucts and services could be integrated 
into a single interface or plug-in. gs] 

by Tony Bradley 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 141 



Yahoo! Next 



My Yahoo! 
Ticker 

News & Info That Comes To You 




Why go to the Internet when 
the Internet can come to 
you? That's the idea be- 
hind My Yahoo! Ticker, a program 
that delivers Web content to your 
Windows Desktop. 

My Yahoo! Ticker is a small toolbar 
with scrolling headlines that appears 
on your screen. You can view news, 
stock quotes, weather reports, and 
more. All of this content comes to 
you through an RSS (Real Simple 
Syndication) feed, but 
unlike many RSS feeds, 
you don't need a dedi- 
cated RSS reader: My 
Yahoo! Ticker handles 
the work for you. 

My Yahoo! Ticker is also a one- stop 
shop where you can conduct your 
normal Web business. You can access 
Yahoo !'s search engine by entering a 
search term in the Ticker window. 
You can view your Yahoo! email, pull 
up your address book, and look up a 
word in Yahoo !'s dictionary. Many of 



Yahoo !'s specialized search engines are 
available from the Ticker Menu, let- 
ting you search for images, businesses, 
travel directions, and consumer prod- 
ucts, all without leaving your Desktop. 

Install & Configure My Yahoo! Ticker 

To download My Yahoo! Ticker, 
go to ticker.yahoo.com and click the 
Download Beta button. Follow the 
instructions to install the software 



E 



Top Stories from Reuters: DeLay relinquishes House majority leader | 



My Yahoo! Ticker displays as a small toolbar with scrolling headlines on your screen 



and launch the My Yahoo! Ticker 
toolbar. To configure My Yahoo! 
Ticker, right- click the Ticker window 
anywhere. From the popup menu, 
choose My Yahoo! Ticker Beta 
Preferences. You can either access My 
Yahoo! Ticker as a guest or with a 
(free) My Yahoo! account, if you 
have one. 



To use Ticker as a Guest, make sure 
Use As Guest is selected and then 
click Edit News. In the News & Colors 
window, select the content you'd like 
to see: Select from Top Stories, World 
News, Business, Politics, Stock 
Quotes, Weather, Entertainment, 
Technology, and Sports. If you chose 
Weather, enter your ZIP code in the 
Zip Codes field. From this window 
you can also select the number of 
headlines you'd like to see per cate- 
gory. You can even choose different 
font colors for each category of head- 
line. Click OK to close the News & 
Colors window. 

If you selected Stock Quotes, click 
the Edit Stocks button. In the Stocks 
window, enter the ticker symbols of 
the stocks you wish to track. If you 
don't know a symbol, click Find and 
the Yahoo! Finance page pops up to 
help you locate the symbol by com- 
pany name. Close the Stocks window 
when you're finished. 

From the Preferences window, you 
can make other adjustments: Change 
the Ticker speed, determine how often 
to refresh news stories, and tweak the 
color scheme for the Ticker bar. 

Click OK to close the Preferences 
window. Headlines for your chosen 
categories will begin scrolling by in the 
Ticker. Initially, the Ticker window is 
barely long enough to display a few 
words, but you can expand it in one of 
two ways: right- click the Ticker icon 
to the left of the scrolling display or 
drag the two dotted lines at the left 
border of the Ticker to the left. 

You can quickly jump 
from one category to an- 
other; just click the Ticker 
icon to the left of the 
scrolling display. When 
you spot an intriguing headline, click 
it. The full story appears in the lower- 
right corner of your screen in a 
QuickView mini-browser window. 
From there you can resize or maximize 
the QuickView window and close it 
when you're finished viewing the item. 

The Ticker window can also serve 
as a search box pointing to Yahoo !'s 



a 



142 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Yahoo! Next 



search engine. Click the Yahoo! icon 
at the right side of the Ticker bar. The 
headlines disappear and you can enter 
your search term directly in the box. 
The results page then opens in a 
QuickView window. To reactivate the 
scrolling headlines, just click the 
Ticker icon at the left of the toolbar. 

Use Your My Yahoo! Account 

My Yahoo! users can pull the con- 
tent from their My Yahoo! pages 
directly into the Ticker. Right-click 
the Ticker toolbar and choose My 
Yahoo! Ticker Beta Preferences. Select 
the option for My Yahoo! ID. Enter 
your My Yahoo! username and pass- 
word and click OK. This should 
display the content directly from your 
My Yahoo! page: News, Weather, 
Stock Quotes, and RSS feeds. Note 



Ticker [search About My Yahoo! Tic ker Beta | 



server 



Ouse My Yahoo! ID 



The Yahoo! ID d above are 

saved on 



(•) Use as Guest Edit News 



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Ticker Speed 
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You can customize and access My Yahoo! Ticker 
as a guest or through a free My Yahoo! account. 



that this feature didn't work when we 
tested it. Using existing My Yahoo! 
accounts, we were able to see stock 
quotes and email alerts in the Ticker, 



but nothing else. When we created 
new My Yahoo! accounts, the Ticker 
was never able to contact the server 
and couldn't display any information. 
This glitch may have been corrected 
by the time you read this. (Remember 
that the feature is still in beta; further 
testing and programming will no 
doubt continue up until — and no 
doubt beyond — its official release.) 

You can share your questions and 
opinions about My Yahoo! Ticker by 
joining the discussion forum at 
ticker.yahoo.com. You can also send 
feedback to the My Yahoo! Ticker 
team at add.yahoo.com/fast/help 
/us/next/cgi_myticker. Help is also 
available at help.yahoo.com/help/us 
/next/myticker. H 

by Lance Whitney 



My Yahoo! Ticker Highlights 

What it does: My Yahoo! Ticker is a toolbar that resides 
on your Windows Desktop and delivers news, sports, 
weather, and other content. You can log in as a Guest and 
choose to see generic news feeds with stock quotes and 
weather. Or, if you have a free My Yahoo! account, you may 
be able to grab content from your My Yahoo! page. 

How it works: My Yahoo! Ticker uses RSS (Real Simple 
Syndication) to deliver Web content to your Desktop. No 
dedicated RSS reader is required; My Yahoo! Ticker works as 
a standalone program. As the news headlines scroll by, click 
any subject that interests you and the full story opens in a 
mini-browser window. You can also search for items using 
Yahoo!'s various search engines and access your Yahoo! 
email and address book. 

Sample use: To install My Yahoo! Ticker, download it 
from the My Yahoo! Ticker Web site at ticker.yahoo.com. 
Once it's installed, right-click the My Yahoo! Ticker window. 
From the popup menu, choose My Yahoo! Ticker Beta 
Preferences, click the Edit News button and choose to dis- 
play Top Stories, Business, Weather, Stock Quotes, Tech- 
nology, and Sports. Enter your ZIP code for access to the 
local weather (and you might as well also enter 96815, the 
zip for Waikiki Beach, just in case you can get away for the 
week) and click OK. 

Click the Edit Stocks button and enter the stock ticker 
symbols you want to track— MSFT for Microsoft, INTC for 
Intel, YHOO for Yahoo!, and BOH for the Bank of Hawaii 
(after all, you may want to invest while you're visiting 



Waikiki Beach). Click OK to close the Edit Stocks window 
and OK again to close the Preferences window. 

The headlines will begin to scroll by in the Ticker window. 
Right-click the Ticker button to the left of the window to 
enlarge it. Let's say you see a headline about Microsoft's up- 
coming release of Vista, the next version of Windows. Click 
the headline and the full story appears in a QuickView mini- 
browser window. 

If you're curious about Windows Vista and want to find 
more stories about it, click the Yahoo! icon at the right of the 
toolbar. The headlines will disappear so you can enter a 
search term in the Ticker box. Enter Windows Vista as your 
search phrase, and the QuickView window reappears with a 
list of links to stories on Vista. 

Assume that now you have to take care of personal busi- 
ness. You quickly check your Yahoo! email: Click the drop- 
down arrow next to the Yahoo! icon on the Ticker and select 
Yahoo! Mail from the menu. Your smart-aleck friend uses a 
word you don't understand in his email. To look it up, click in 
the Ticker window, press CTRL+T, and enter the word in the 
Yahoo! Dictionary search box. Next you need to shop for a 
birthday present for your niece. Type ipod in the Ticker field 
and press CTRL+P. The Yahoo! Products page pops up with 
links to online stores selling iPods. 

After all of this hard work, you may feel like seeing a movie. 
Enter your ZIP code in the Ticker window, press CTRL+S, and 
see Yahoofs list of local movies and showtimes, popcorn 
prices not included. I 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 143 



Yahoo! Next 



Yahoo! 
FareChase 

New Service Helps Track Down Travel Deals 



So, you just can't wait to get on 
the road again, and you're 
looking for cheap flights 
and maybe lodging. In case 
you missed it, Yahoo! now 
hosts a branded travel 
site called Farechase, a 
Web-based search en- 
gine that the company 
promises will deliver a 
more comprehensive 
search than its rivals to 
find users the lowest 
prices on both airfares 
and lodging. 

FareChase is 
separate from the 
Yahoo! home page 
travel link and has 
operated in beta since September 
2004. Now, with ample consumer 
feedback and tweaking, FareChase is 
expected to drop the beta status by 
March to bring the service to 
everyone, says Yahoo! travel manager 
Diana Vincent. 

No Salesman Will Call 

FareChase is not a travel agency, 
but a search engine dedicated to 
finding the lowest-priced flights and 
lodging for shoppers. You select your 
itinerary, including flights and pos- 
sibly lodging, and the service con- 
nects you directly to the provider's 
Web site, so you can lock in your 
travel plans. FareChase displays real- 
time rates (which are subject to 




change) and charges no user fees for 
the service, instead looking to adver- 
tising fees to fund the venture, says 
Vincent. 

The quickest way to find FareChase 
is to bring up the Yahoo! home page 
and click the generic Travel link. Click 
the FareChase tab on the upper- right 
corner of the next window. 

FareChase's format will be familiar 
to anyone who has used other pop- 
ular online travel services. A data 
entry box appears on-screen along 
with simple, intuitive drop-downs 
where you can record your travel des- 
tination and dates. 

Tabs at the top offer choices of 
Flights and Hotels. FareChase listed 
more than 30 airlines, including some 



foreign air carriers, though foreign 
travel is not currently supported. "We 
are always looking to expand our of- 
fering to our users. Our focus has been 
to [first] create a leading domestic 
product," said Vincent. 

Working down from the top, a My 
Recent Searches drop-down saves your 
scans for future viewing from as many 
as five earlier sessions. If you allow 
cookies, prior searches are saved even 
if you're not logged in. This can be a 
time- saver, especially if you require 
several sessions to complete your 
plans. 

There & Back Again 

Choose Round-Trip or 
One-Way by clicking the 
appropriate radio but- 
ton, then enter the 
departure and des- 
tination cities, and 
select your travel 
dates. FareChase 
promises to seek 
low-price air fares, 
and the default depar- 
ture date is 21 days out, 
presumably to take advan- 
tage of most airlines' low- 
price time horizon. If you want to 
travel sooner, you can override the de- 
fault by entering your intended travel 
dates in the boxes. If price is more im- 
portant than arrival and departure 
times, choose Anytime to capture a 
broad array of flight options and 
prices available on your selected dates. 
If you want to specify an airport in- 
stead of a city, click the Airport Locator 
links to look up airport symbols and 
enter those initials in the From and To 
fields. If you have no airport prefer- 
ence, click the Check Nearby Airports 
checkbox for a larger number of avail- 
able options. Next, record the number 
of travelers in your party in the Adult, 
Child, Senior, and Infant categories. 

Click the More Search Options link 
at the bottom left of the search box to 
reveal additional options: Connections, 
Time Range, and Cabin. Connections 



144 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Yahoo! Next 



records how many layovers you'll ac- 
cept. The Time Range option records 
your tolerance for layover duration. 
Cabin gives you the choice of seating 
class, from economy through first class. 
Refine your search by checking and 
modifying entries in these categories. 

Once you have entered the required 
information for your flight preferences, 
click Search. A box with a progress bar 
appears at the top of the screen during 
the search. This box disappears once 
the scan is completed; the column on 
the left side of the screen shows a sum- 
mary of providers and alternatives. 



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Yahoo's FareChase beta travel search screen will be familiar to 
those who have used other online travel searches. FareChase is 
not a travel agency, but a search engine designed to find the 
lowest-priced air fares and lodging. 



The Results list presents individual 
flights, prices, and airlines in as- 
cending price order. We checked for 
flights from Chicago to Los Angeles 
for a seven-day stay, 21 days in ad- 
vance. One search yielded over 230 al- 
ternative flights with prices ranging 
from $211 to more than $1,000. 

All I Want Is A Room Somewhere 

Now add lodging to the package. 
The search engine scans over 50 
lodging sources, according to the site. 
A progress bar appears while the 
search is in progress, with paid 
sponsor links appearing on top and to 
the right. Scroll down the Results list- 
ings to find the lodging button and 



click it to scan for hotel options. (In 
our L.A. test search, the button read 
Los Angeles Hotel Deals.) Notice that 
FareChase does not initially sort results 
based on price, but instead uses some- 
thing called Popularity. (Click the icon 
for an explanation.) After Yahoo! 
completes the initial sort, you can 
click the Price link to reorder the re- 
sults, beginning with the least expen- 
sive. If a hotel chain is important, 
select Name as the sort criterion. 

The Distance sort tells how far a 
hotel is located from a specific geo- 
graphic point. Select a different geo- 
graphic location for your 
stay from the options in 
left column of the Results 
page. For instance, we 
could have changed our 
lodging base from Los 
Angeles to Hollywood, 
and hotel listings would 
show the distance from 
Hollywood instead of 
from Los Angeles. 

A Los Angeles search 
yielded over 350 hotels, 
with quoted nightly rates 
ranging from $37 for a 
two-star motel to $505 
for a user-rated four-star 
hotel on the beach in 
Santa Monica. The sum- 
maries include photos 
and a rating. 

In The Chase For Fair Fares, 
FareChase Fares Well 

We found easy navigation to be a 
FareChase strength. Expedia.com, 
Travelocity, and even Yahool's regular 
travel link are sometimes difficult and 
prone to mysterious errors that may re- 
quire entering your data several times. 
Also, FareChase automatically displays 
useful search summary information on 
the results page that the others did not. 
And in comparative pricing trials that 
included both Expedia and Travelocity, 
FareChase actually did produce the 
lowest-priced flights, which Vincent 
said should usually occur. We're quite 



Yahoo! Farechase 
Highlights 

What it does: Farechase is Yahool's 
branded beta version search engine 
for air travel and lodging. It promises 
cheap airfares and hotel rooms. 

How it works: Farechase scans 
flights listed by more than 30 air 
transport sources and over 50 lodging 
providers. (See Farechase Frequently 
Asked Questions for current listings.) 
A Farechase screen invites additional 
providers to sign on, so the list may 
change. Remember to switch the sort 
criterion to Price from Popularity if 
price is more important to you. 

Sample use: Enter Farechase as the 
search term at Yahool's home page, 
follow the link and bookmark the 
site. Select Round-Trip or One-Way 
by clicking the appropriate radio 
button. Enter the name of your de- 
parture point and then enter the 
name of your destination city in the 
From and To fields. For a wider array 
of choices, click the Check Nearby 
Airports checkbox; for fewer choices, 
leave the box unchecked. 

Choose your Depart and Return 
dates and times and select the 
number of adults, children, infants, 
and seniors in your travel party and 
then click Search. If price is more im- 
portant than convenience, leave the 
Depart and Return times set to 
Anytime to give the search engine 
fewer restrictions and potentially re- 
turn more travel options and prices. 

We entered information for a 
round trip for one adult from 
Chicago to LA. using the default, 21 
days out. Our search returned over 
120 flight options. We clicked the 
Hotel Deals button located in the 
middle of the flight list and got back 
over 340 lodging options. I 



comfortable recommending FareChase 
for your bookmark short list. ® 

by Michael Border 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 145 



Extras 



Use Yahoo! 

For Everything Under The Sun 



Your Comprehensive Activity Center 



What started from hum- 
ble beginnings as the 
brainchild of two Stan- 
ford students has be- 
come one of the Internet's key players. 
It now employs thousands of people 



and offers a plethora of services to its 
users. In fact, Yahoo! can be your point 
of origin for almost any destination on 
the Web that you want to reach and 
the first step you take toward accom- 
plishing your online tasks. 



We harnessed Yahool's power for a 
variety of activities — some to take care 
of important business and some for 
pure entertainment. The 10 we cover 
here represent only a sliver of surfing 
available via Yahoo!. 



If You Want To... 

. . . Fight Crime In Metropolis 

Who doesn't dream of being a superhero once in his or her life? 
Although we don't have any special powers, we clicked the Hotjobs 
icon on Yahool's home page. On the Hotjobs site, we typed Police 
Officer in the Keywords(s) field and used New York City as our desti- 
nation. We clicked Search, and Hotjobs returned results from the Big 
Apple and smaller surrounding burgs. 

. . . Buy A Satellite Radio Receiver For Your Next Road Trip 



We started at Yahoo! Shopping (shopping.yahoo.com) and 
typed XM Radio (one of the two major satellite radio providers) 
in the Search field. We found a veritable buffet of XM receivers, 
priced to fit within any budget. We clicked Compare Prices for the 
top result (Delphi MyFi) and compared prices among 28 vendors. 



. . . Buy A Winnebago For Your Next Vacation 

Yahoo! Autos (autos.yahoo.com) seemed like the best place to start, 
but our search bore no fruit. We returned to Yahool's home page and 
searched the Web by typing Winnebago dealer in the field and pressing 
ENTER. Much to our surprise, we found that one of the sponsored re- 
sults (read: paid advertisers) did the trick. We clicked its link and had a 
fleet of used RVs from which to choose. 



~^ L ^ -— -jcz^^jc 




Employer 



Hotjobs Celebrity Dream Team Makeov 



Now Hiring 



[ *>V Post Your Resume Now 
* Let employers find you 



: 



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Ur>ln XM Myf I Radio (SA1UI Vjf 



Compare Prices from 28 merchants 

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Base Price 




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save up to $50 






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$95.00 

after $50.00 rebate 



. . . Check Your Favorite Stock 

As a publishing company that continually tests and uses computers, 
we obtained a stock quote for Dell, one of the biggest PC makers on the 
planet. We typed DELL in the Stock Quotes field found on the right 
side of Yahool's home page and clicked Go. 



DELL INC (Na 

After Hours (f 
Last Trade: 
Trade Time: 
Change: 
Prev Close: 



T-ECN): 29.30 40.01 (0.03%) 



29.32 x 5 
29.39 x 5 
36.73 



Day's Range: 


23.94-29.75 


52wk Range: 


23.62-41.99 


Volume: 


23,673,007 


AvgVol(3m): 


22,740,800 


Market Cap: 


6S.98B 


P/E (ttm): 


22.67 


EPS (ttm): 


1.29 


Div & Yield: 


USA (USA) 



146 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Extras 



. . . Catch Up On The Latest Happenings At "General Hospital' 1 

We clicked Soap Operas at the Yahoo! TV page (tv.yahoo.com), 
which led us to the daily recaps of the major soaps. We clicked General 
Hospital for the scoop on this week's story lines. 



. . . Find Carmen Sandiego 

In the good ol' days, Apple Ilgs computers were the cream of the 
crop, and "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" was an educa- 
tional game that was actually fun. We used Yahoo! People Search 
(people.yahoo.com) to find her, but, sadly, it didn't find anyone living 
in the United States with that moniker. Even so, Yahoo! People Search 
is a useful tool to help you connect with old friends or relatives. 

... Play Mah Jong 

This classic game of solitaire is one of the many games available at 
Yahoo! Games (games.yahoo.com). We clicked Mah Jong Towers 
Eternity under the Board Games section to get started. (You may 
need to download the appropriate plug-in before the game will dis- 
play on-screen.) We clicked Start and Play and were playing Mah 
Jong in no time. 





Soap Operas 


All Mv Children 

As The World Turns 

The Bold and the 

Beautiful 

Days of Our Lives 

General Hospital 

Guidiiid Li<|ht 

One Life to Live 

Passions 

The Yoiiim and the 

Restless 

Related Links 

* Soaps Groups 

* Soaps Message Boards 


Daily Recaps 

All My Children Ryan visited serial killer Jonathan in jail and 

promised he'd help his brother gei out. "No," Jonathan surprisingly 
■■■■■ 

se to find 
an empty vodka bottle . them and 

:: 

The Bold and the Beautiful Ridge explains to Nick that he 

, ...... ,... ... .... .... .. . 

also wants 

Days Of Our Lives At the hospital, John tells Kate about 

....■■ ■■■■ 

General Hospital At the courthouse, John fights for a 

..." ■. ■. .. ■■ ... ... .. .■ .. .. 




. . . Watch A Rolling Stones Music Video 

It seems like these rockers have been around for a while, so we 
wanted to see what Yahoo! Music (music.yahoo.com) had to offer from 
their collection of hits. We selected Videos from the Search Music 
drop -down menu, typed rolling stones in the next field, and clicked 
Go. We clicked the Watch icon for "Rough Justice (LIVE)" and let 
Mick Jagger wail away. 

. . . Learn How To Play Guitar 

Feeling inspired from the Stones video, we relied on Yahoo! Local 
(local.yahoo.com) to track down someone who could shape us into a 
Keith Richards-like virtuoso. We typed guitar lessons in the Search For 
field, typed our city and state information in the next field, and clicked 
Search. We clicked the link for Dr. Brown's Studio, which offered the 
lessons we were looking for. 






Yahoo! Toolbar- 




m 


"SxhooF ^ 


« 


SelsrfCatego 


ry: Web Images Video Audio Directory News Shopping 




Search L 






oil: guitar lessonsi in Lincoln, NE J Yahoo! Search | 


- , , , . , Today's Deals 



...Build A Blog 

Having a blog today is a lot like owning a hula hoop in the 1950s; 
everyone seems to have one, and you probably feel left out if you 
don't have one of your own. We started at Yahoo! 360° Beta 
(360.yahoo.com) and clicked Get Started. (Because we already logged 
in to our Yahoo! account previously, we didn't need to do so here.) 
After we signed in and registered, we clicked Start Blog, and Yahoo! 
360° Beta helped guide us through the process. See "Fun Comes Full 
Circle" on page 93 for more information. H 

BY VlNCE COGLEY 







VinceC 




Mailbox 1 

§ Start a Blog 
ED Start Sharing Photos 
ft Create My Page 
^? Invite a Friend 


Visitor Stats 

Since January 2006 

Page Views 
Visitors 


~| Total || Month || Week | 





Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 147 



Extras 



Yahoo! Toolbar 

The Better To Surf With, My Dear 




You visit Yahoo !'s chat rooms, 
post messages in Yahoo !'s fo- 
rums, check your Yahoo! 
Mail, and chat with your friends via 
Yahoo! Messenger. If you ever wish 
that Yahoo! offered a program that 
could bring all of these features to- 
gether, you're in luck. The Yahoo! 
Toolbar browser plug- in lets you ac- 
cess tons of Yahoo! features from one 
location. And it provides much more 
than links: The new Toolbar protects 
your PC from some of the nastier 
stuff on the 'Net as you surf. We'll 
show you how to install a copy and 
get the most out of its features. 

Toolbar Time 

Yahoo! Toolbar is a plug-in (soft- 
ware that plugs into and comple- 
ments other software) that supports 
two Web browsers: Microsoft Inter- 
net Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. 
Downloading the toolbar is easy 
enough. Visit toolbar.yahoo.com and 
then choose a Toolbar version. If you 
want to download the complete ver- 
sion for IE (including Yahoo! Anti- 
Spy), click Free Download. You can 
also select a version that doesn't 



include Anti-Spy and the Firefox ver- 
sion from this page. 

After you click Download, click the 
Get Yahoo! Toolbar button. If a File 
Download - Security Warning win- 
dow appears, click Save. When the 
Save As window appears, navigate to 
the folder in which you want to place 
the setup file. You can also rename 
the file. Click Save. When the down- 
load completes, click Open Folder 
and then double-click the setup file. 

If you have Windows XP SP2, 
an Open File - Security Warning 
window will appear. Click Run. 
Yahoo!'s setup wizard will guide 
you through the rest of the process. 
Be sure to read the instructions on 
each page before clicking the Next 
button — the wizard will ask to change 
some of your Web browser's settings. 
When the installation completes, 
open your browser. The Yahoo! 
Toolbar will appear near the top 
of the window, under your other 
toolbars. A small Yahoo! Toolbar Is 
Ready To Go! box will drop down in 
front of the Web page. Click Close to 
remove it. The toolbar will drop sim- 
ilar boxes when new toolbar features 
are available. 



You can also download the toolbar 
by installing Yahoo! Messenger. Visit 
Yahoo!'s main page and then click 
Messenger at the top of the page. 
During the installation, you can 
choose Typical Install or Custom 
Install. Choose Typical Install to add 
the toolbar to the installation. You'll 
need to register a Yahoo! ID to take 
advantage of Messenger and several 
other Yahoo! features. To read more 
about the Yahoo! ID, see "Identify 
Yourself on page 20. 

Choose Your Weapon 

Toolbar supports three toolbar 
modes: Finance, Search, and My 
Toolbar. The Y! and Toolbar Settings 
icons remain on the left side of all of 
the toolbar modes, but most of the 
other icons switch to reflect tools for 
that mode's topic. The Search field re- 
mains next to the Toolbar Settings 
icon, but its search mode (such 
as Search Web or Search Ticker) 
changes. You can easily flip among 
modes by clicking the Toolbar Settings 
icon and then choosing a mode. 

Finance Toolbar. Whether you 
keep track of investments or day-to- 
day banking online, you'll find some 
great links and tools in this bar. The 
My Portfolios icon offers links to 
Yahoo! Finance, which encompasses 
the My First Portfolio investment 
tracking tool. Investing links to finan- 
cial news and Yahoo! investing tools. 
The Personal Finance icon links to 
Yahoo! 's Banking Center, Bill Pay ser- 
vice, and retirement planning and tax 
information, among others. The 
Search button lets you choose to 
search several financial areas, in- 
cluding Company News, Message 
Boards, and Ticker. 

My Toolbar. The My Toolbar 
mode appears when you first install 
Yahoo! Toolbar. If you use other 
Yahoo! features, such as its Mail and 
Messenger services, you'll like this 
mode. You'll find most of the features 
we discuss in this article on the My 
Toolbar mode. 



148 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Extras 




Yahoo! Toolbar 

eats up a small 

portion of your 

Web browser 

window, but 

it adds plenty 

of worthwhile 

features. 







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Searc 


h the Web: 


L 


yahoo! S 


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Search Toolbar. If you hate clutter, 
check out this streamlined mode. As 
with the My Toolbar mode, the 
Search button next to the search field 
has a drop -down arrow that lets you 
quickly choose the location you want 
to search, such as Image, Dictionary, 
or Address Book. By default, the 
toolbar displays the Search Web 
button. Thanks to the lack of extra 
icons, you can easily move the toolbar 
next to another toolbar (such as the 
Address bar), which will free up a 
little room for Web pages. To move 
the toolbar, click the left edge of the 
bar and then drag it. If the bar doesn't 
move, right-click any toolbar and 
then deselect Lock Toolbars. 

Take The Tour 

Your toolbar has some great fea- 
tures. Before you dive into the pile of 
customization options, check out 
the tools already at your disposal. 
Don't overlook the Welcome Tour 
button, which starts a quick, anima- 
ted overview of the toolbar's most im- 
portant features. 

Anti-Spy. Unlike Popup Blocker, 
which runs while you surf the Web and 
automatically blocks pop-ups, Anti-Spy 
won't start until you click its icon and 
then click Run Anti-Spy. When you 
first start the program, it may download 
the latest version from Yahoo! and will 
also need to download updates. But 
don't give up on it: Anti-Spy is a useful 
tool. Once it's ready to go, the program 
will scan your computer for a variety of 



malicious items, such as tracking 
cookies, Trojans, worms, and adware. 
After completing the scan, the software 
lists any suspect items and lets you 
choose to remove or allow individual 
items. It also puts the item in a cate- 
gory, such as Tracking Cookie, and dis- 
plays the item's name. If you want to 
know more about a category, simply 
double-click one of the category's items 
to see a brief description. 

If you have questions about spy- 
ware, click the Anti-Spy icon and then 
select Anti-Spy Community. These 
specialized Yahoo! forums let fellow 
Web surfers trade tips and tricks 
about avoiding and removing particu- 
larly insidious spyware. Users can rate 
messages, so if you're only interested 
in messages that have some of the 
highest ratings, click the Ratings Filter 
drop -down arrow and then select the 
four- or five-star rating. 

Bookmarks. This toolbar feature 
acts as an extra Favorites folder. 
Whenever you find a Web page you 
plan to revisit, click Bookmarks and 
Add To Yahoo! Bookmarks. To visit 
the page again, click Bookmarks and 
then find it on the list that appears. 
You can add folders and organize 
your Bookmarks. 

Popup Blocker. We shudder to 
think about the amount of time we've 
wasted over the years by chasing 
down stray pop-up ads. Yahoo!'s 
Popup Blocker gives you control over 
the number of windows on your 
screen. By default, it blocks pop-ups, 
but if you press the CTRL key before 



you click a link, the link's pop-up 
window (if there is one) will open 
without trouble. 

By default, Popup Blocker emits a 
brief sound and opens an information 
bar when it blocks a pop-up. The in- 
formation bar is a short, yellow bar 
that appears just under your lowest 
toolbar. Click the Popup bar to change 
the blocker's settings for the site. (You 
can choose to have Popup Blocker 
only allow pop-ups from the current 
site during this session or to always 
allow the site to display pop-ups.) 

Click the Popup Blocker icon to 
change its settings or completely dis- 
able it. The drop-down menu keeps 
track of the number of blocked pop- 
ups and lets you view recently blocked 
pop-ups to make sure you didn't miss 
anything worthwhile. 

Search. One of the most important 
features on your toolbar is the Search 
Box and the Search button. It's also 
very easy to use: If you want to find 
information about your search term 
on the Web, simply enter it into the 
search field and then press the 
ENTER key or click the Search Web 
button. If you want to search a dif- 
ferent Yahoo! section, such as Yahoo! 
Images or Video, click the Search but- 
ton's drop-down arrow and select a 
section. You can even search your 
Yahoo! Address Book. 

Mail. The icon's drop-down menu 
lets you quickly access Yahoo! Mail 
features, such as Compose A Message. 
You can also reach the Address Book, 
Calendar, and Notepad from here. A 
number on the Mail icon indicates 
new messages. 

Messenger. Refresh your contact 
list or open the Messenger Sidebar (a 
feature that places Messenger on the 
left side of your browser window). 
You can change your Messenger 
status to a standard status message 
or put the URL for the site you're 
viewing into your Messenger status 
area. This lets other users visit the 
page you're viewing. 

My Web. This feature lets you save 
Web pages to a personal Web of saved 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 149 



Extras 



pages. You can share your Web with 
other users and store comments 
about Web sites. 

Y!. If your toolbar included only 
the Y! icon, you could still reach 
many of Yahool's most important 
tools. Click the Y! to visit Yahool's 
homepage or click the icon's drop- 
down arrow to find links to many 
other Yahoo! pages and features. 

Customize, Customize, Customize 

The toolbar is very customizable. 
Although you'll need to click the 
Anti-Spy or Popup Blocker icons to 
adjust most of those programs' set- 
tings, you can reach most properties 
in the Toolbar Settings area. By de- 
fault, the Toolbar Settings icon sits 
next to the Y! Yahoo! homepage icon. 

Yahoo! Toolbar Options has some 
of the most important settings, in- 
cluding rules for the toolbar's buttons. 
In the Buttons section, you can deacti- 
vate the Anti-Spy, Highlight, Popup 
Blocker, and Music Engine icons. You 



a 



V? 



Yahoo! My Yahoo! f 



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Search 



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• Protect youi 

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• Tap into Yahoo! Messenger from your browser : ■*■ 

| 






If you have Yahoo! 
Messenger, you can 
access its features 
from the toolbar, 
including the 
Sidebarfeature.lt 
places Messenger 
inside your Web 
browser. 



can also activate the Search This Site 
feature, which isn't activated by de- 
fault. To use the feature, visit the site 
you wish to search, enter a search term 
in the Search field, click the Search 
Web drop -down arrow, and then se- 
lect Search Only The Current Site. 

The Options menu also lets you 
choose the length of the search field. A 
smaller field won't limit the number 
of characters you can enter when you 
type in a search term, but if you want 
to be able to see more of your search 



Where The Spotlight Fails To Shine 

You can't browse Yahool's massive site very long without seeing links to 
Yahoo! Messenger or Toolbar. But Yahoo! has several other downloads that 
it doesn't promote as heavily. If you 
want to spice up your PC click 
Downloads on the All Y! Services 
page and try these obscure (but 
useful) Yahoo! programs. 

Desktop Search. Let Yahool's pow- 
erful search engine loose on your 
hard drive. 

Music Engine. Download and play 
songs. The Music Engine icon 
sits in your browser. 

My Yahoo! Ticker. If you have My 
Yahoo!, run the feature's custom 
tickers on your Desktop. 

Yahoo! Search For Internet Explorer. 

Get the search engine without the rest of Yahoo! Toolbar's baggage. 

Widget Engine. Tiny applications that let you see photos on your Desktop; get 
weather alerts and more. 




Widgets add extra features to your 
Desktop. Download hundreds of free 
Widgets or build your own. 



term at once, choose a large size in the 
Search Box area. You can also disable 
Smart Tools, but we suspect you'll 
want to keep this feature handy. When 
you select text on any Web page, a Y! 
icon will appear next to the selection. 
It has an array of options, including 
Translate To English and Lookup [se- 
lected text] In Dictionary. If you're 
trying to save toolbar space, check the 
Show Icons Only Without Names box. 
If you want to customize the tool- 
bar's buttons, click Toolbar Settings 
and Personal Options and then choose 
Add/Edit Buttons or Change Toolbar 
Layout. The buttons that appear by de- 
fault make only a fraction of the but- 
tons that you can add to your toolbar. 

Toolbar Trouble 

If you run into problems 
with your toolbar, click the 
Toolbar Settings icon and 
check out the options at the 
bottom of the menu. We rec- 
ommend that you first try the 
Help link, which takes you di- 
rectly to Yahoo! Toolbar Help. 
Scan the Top 5 Questions sec- 
tion and then enter your prob- 
lem in the Ask Yahoo! Help 
field. If Help . . . doesn't, revisit the 
Toolbar Settings and click Forums & 
Feedback. Users post questions and 
answers here daily. Of course, if the 
toolbar is the problem, click Uninstall 
at the bottom of the menu. Qjs] 

by Joshua Gulick 



150 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Extras 



Especially For 
Mobile Users 

Use Yahoo! Services When You're On The Go 



Our world is becoming 
increasingly mobile. 
We use our cell phone 
to chat with friends while on 
our way to a business meeting, 
text message our children, 
email a shopping list to our 
spouse, and send a picture of 
the kids to grandma. 

Yahoo! Mobile (mobile 
.yahoo.com) provides many 
services to users on the go. 
From email to IM (instant 
messaging) to news, Yahoo! 
Mobile has you covered. Let's explore 
these services in more detail. Keep in 
mind that each service has different 
compatibility requirements with cell 
phones and service providers. 

Communicate Via Messages 
& Messaging 

Pair your cell phone with the fol- 
lowing Yahoo! Mobile services to 
stay in touch while going about the 
day's activities. 

Yahoo! Messenger. Just because 
you're away from a PC doesn't mean 
you have to go through IM with- 
drawal. The mobile version of Ya- 
hoo! Messenger keeps you connected 
wherever you are. 

Yahoo! Mail. Considering the fact 
that email has become a staple in 
our daily lives, it's good to know 
that you don't have to go without 
your Yahoo! email. Receive alerts 
when you have new mail, check and 
compose email, and access your ad- 
dress book with the mobile version 
of Yahoo! Mail. 




Texting. Sending text messages 
from one phone to another, other- 
wise known as texting, is especially 
common among the younger genera- 
tion. Yahoo! lets you send text mes- 
sages from your PC without a fee; 
however, the person receiving your 
text message may incur a fee for re- 
ceiving the message, depending on 
her wireless plan. 

Yahoo! 360° mobile blogging. 
Blogs have become a popular way to 
stay connected with friends and 
family members. Use your phone to 
post photos and messages about the 
day's events to make sure everyone 
knows what's going on in your life. 

Info On The Go 

Sometimes it's hard to keep up 
with the latest news when we're run- 
ning from one place to the next. Let's 
explore a few of the ways Yahoo! 
strives to keep us informed. 



Search for info. With two different 
ways to search the Web from your 
phone, Yahoo! makes sure you're 
never without information when you 
need it. You can browse the Web or 
send a text message to Yahoo! for 
quick details, such as stock quotes or 
locations of local businesses. 

Back up contacts. If you've been 
searching for an effective way to con- 
solidate address books from your 
email and cell phone, look to Yahoo!. 
In addition to combining your 
Yahoo! address book with the 
one from your phone, you 
can synchronize your calendar 
and tasks. 

Receive alerts. If you really 
want to be up-to-date with all 
of the latest news, weather, and 
sports, Yahoo! Alerts can send 
an update to your email soft- 
ware, Yahoo! Messenger client, 
or mobile device. You choose 
the types of alerts to receive and 
where to send them: Yahoo! 
Messenger; a particular email program; 
via text messaging to your PC, phone, 
or PDA (personal digital assistant); or a 
combination of these locations. 

Find a Wi-Fi hotspot. If you've 
ever traveled with a laptop or other 
Wi-Fi-enabled device, you know it's 
not always easy to find a hotspot 
when you need one. Now, with the 
Yahoo! hotspot locator, you can find 
a list of hotspot locations before 
taking off for your next trip. 

Fun & Games 

Sometimes we find a few spare 
minutes in our day. Although this 
doesn't happen as often as we'd like, 
when we do find extra time, it's nice 
to relax with some fun activities via 
our mobile device. 

Upload and review photos. Photo 
gurus will like the ability to upload 
pictures from their camera phone 
to Yahoo! Photos. You can store as 
many pictures as you want, and all 
uploaded pictures go directly to the 
Mobile Upload album for easy access. 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 151 



Extras 



In addition, you can browse the photos 
you've stored in your Yahoo! Photos 
albums and personalize your phone 
using a favorite photo as a screen saver. 
You also can create mobile slideshows 
and browse friends' albums. 

Play mobile games. Even if you 
aren't a serious gamer, chances are 
even you can enjoy playing a game 
of Solitaire or Yahtzee when you're 
waiting for a flight at the airport. 
With categories such as Action & 
Adventure, Card & Casino, and 
Sports, everyone can find a game to 
suit his or her interests. And with 
prices starting at $1.49 for unlimited 
play time, it's easy to be entertained. 

Listen to Yahoo! Ringtones. Al- 
though the Yahoo! Ringtones service 
was only available for Cingular cus- 
tomers at press time, it's still note- 
worthy. For $1.99 apiece, you can 
download ringtones from top artists 
to your phone. There are over 1,200 
selections to choose from, so pick a 
tone to match your mood. 

Local Access 

Finding software for your mobile 
phone or PDA isn't always as easy as 
finding a program for your PC. The 
next time you're searching for some- 
thing specific or just want to look 
around, head over to the Yahoo! 
Mobile Downloads site (mobile 
.yahoo.com/wireless/downloads). 
Although the majority of content is 
targeted at the PDA user, a hand- 
ful of mobile phone downloads are 
also available. 

For PDA users looking for a spe- 
cific title, Yahoo! provides a search 
tool to help you find what you need. 
Otherwise, if you just want to browse 
titles by platform category, Yahoo! 
summarizes the top downloads for 
the Palm, Pocket PC, Symbian/EPOC, 
and Windows CE operating systems. 

All The Right Resources 

If you're looking for ways to maxi- 
mize your mobility, check out the 



Yahoo! Mobile Resource Center (in 
the lower-left area of Yahoo! Mo- 
bile's home page). Here, you'll find 
information at Tech News, such as 
mobile phone number portability. 
Alternatively, you can shop for a new 
mobile device via special links to the 
Yahoo! Shopping service. 

New mobile users can also access 
tutorials that explain how to use 
Yahoo! Mobile services in greater de- 
tail. Or if you're looking for a specific 
mobile Web site, check out Yahoo !'s 
searchable Mobile Web Directory. 
And if the array of wireless acronyms 



teHOOf 6 GO 



Now, your life goes where 
you go 




Yahoo! Go is a new service that lets you access 
content from many devices. 



confuses you, check out the Glossary 
of Mobile Terms. 

Regardless of the type of infor- 
mation you're searching for, if it's 
related to mobile technology, you 
can most likely find it at the Yahoo! 
Resource Center. 

iHabla Espafiol? 

Yahoo!'s mobile services aren't 
limited solely to English-speaking 
Web users. With the Yahoo! Mobile 
International section of Yahoo! Mo- 
bile (at the bottom of the home page), 
users from countries such as Spain, 
Japan, Brazil, and India can access a 
multitude of options tailored specifi- 
cally to their country. 



Yahoo! Go 

Count all of the mobile devices you 
use every day to communicate with 
friends, capture memories, entertain 
yourself, and conduct business. If 
you run out of fingers before you 
get through the list, check out Ya- 
hoo! Go (go. connect.yahoo.com/go), 
which was just announced at CES 
(Consumer Electronics Show) in 
January. Although all components of 
the Yahoo! Go service weren't avail- 
able for download at press time, 
Yahoo!'s Web site does provide de- 
tails about this new service. 

The goal of Yahoo! Go is to help 
users realize interconnectivity 
among devices. Yahoo! representa- 
tives claim that with Yahoo! Go, 
your TV will be able to sync with the 
Internet to display your photos, 
music, movie listings, and more. 
Additionally, your camera phone 
will automatically upload photos to 
the Internet. Furthermore, the Ya- 
hoo! Go PC component will keep 
all of your Yahoo! information at 
your fingertips. 

It's All About Connectivity 

Whether you're keeping in touch 
with friends, checking on the latest 
news, or capturing memories on 
your camera phone, Yahoo! strives 
to keep you connected while you 
are away from a PC. Although we 
can't cover all its mobile-related ser- 
vices in detail in this article, check 
out our article on podcasting, 
"Yahoo! Podcast," on page 126 for 
more information regarding port- 
able audio and video files. Also, 
Yahoo! offers special mobile services 
especially for business users; see 
"Articles & Resources" to find out 
more about these services on page 
119. With all Yahoo!'s mobile offer- 
ings, you're sure to find a solution 
that fits your needs. H 

by Jennifer Johnson 



152 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Extras 



For The Kids 

Yahooligans! Presents Fads & Laughs Just For Juniors 

***** VtfbiA. 




Forty years ago, we loved The 
Beatles and Elvis. Now kids 
clamor for Fall Out Boy and 
Hilary Duff. We watched Roger Maris 
and Mickey Mantle battle each other 
in the summer of '61 to beat Babe 
Ruth's 60 home runs of 1927 for 
Major League Baseball's single season 
home run record. Today, young, as- 
piring baseball players dream of 
striking out Albert Pujols or hitting a 
home run off of Pedro Martinez to 
win the World Series. And nowadays, 
digital music players are a fraction of 
the size of your old phonograph and 
can store hundreds of albums within 
their tiny frames. Our kids live in a 
different world, yet the core of our 
traditional pastimes has changed little 
over the generations. 

If Yahoo! is for Mom and Dad, 
Yahooligans! (yahooligans.yahoo.com) 
is definitely a Yahoo! for younger gen- 
erations. According to Yahoo!, Yahoo- 
ligans! is a "browsable, searchable 
directory of Internet sites for kids." 
Essentially, Yahooligans! bears several 
similarities to its parent site. You can 
perform a basic search, hunt for music 
videos from your favorite artist, and 
send ecards to family and friends. 

And Yahoo! understands that the 
Web is chock-full of seedy sites that 



are inappropriate for younger eyes. 
Although it doesn't filter Web sites, 
Yahooligans! editors handpick each 
site and its links to determine if the 
content is safe and suitable for kids 
aged 7 to 12. Yahooligans! also pro- 
vides links that let you report objec- 
tionable content, and if the editors 
agree with your submission, they'll 
promptly pull the site(s) from the 
Yahooligans! directory. You can also 
request that Yahooligans! add a par- 
ticular site to its directory. 

Yahooligans! has diverse offerings 
for kids with a host of different inter- 
ests. We'll help you navigate around 
Yahooligans! to find enough content 
to keep your youngsters amused and 
informed without worrying about ex- 
posing them to offensive material. 

Safety First 

Let's face it: There are many things 
your family can do via the Internet 
that are impossible — or, at the very 
least, impractical — to physically do. 
For example, you can take an elec- 
tronic field trip to virtually visit 
the Smithsonian Institution's Na- 
tional Air and Space Museum if you 
can't make the drive to Washington, 
D.C., to visit the museum personally. 



The Internet also lets you relish 
in listening to a Mozart concerto 
sonata instead of purchasing a 
CD or attending a symphony or- 
chestra performance. 

Of course, parents must remain 
vigilant when their children use a 
resource such as the Web. There 
are plenty of stray paths that will 
lead your kids down the Internet's 
darker alleys. 

Before turning your kids loose at 
Yahooligans!, everyone should make 
sure they pass their online safety 
pretests, so to speak. For parents, 
click the Parents' Guide link on 
Yahooligans! home page. The Yahoo- 
ligans! Parents' Guide contains useful 
articles about online safety you can 
discuss with your kids. Also, there 
are links to Web browsers specifically 
designed to give children a safe 
surfing experience. 

Yahooligans! pulls much of its 
safety information from NetSmartz 
(www.netsmartz.org). A joint ven- 
ture between the National Center for 
Missing 8c Exploited Children and 
Boys 8c Girls Clubs of America, 
NetSmartz has a wealth of material 
to minimize the risks associated with 
letting minors use the Internet. Your 
child should understand that like 
the real world, there are plenty 
of strangers lurking in places that 
appear harmless. 

Thirst For Knowledge 

Kids who use Yahooligans! can get 
help on homework or simply satisfy 
their curiosities. On the Yahooligans! 
home page, type a subject in the 
empty field and click Search. You'll 
notice that the number of matches 
is considerably fewer than if you 
were searching Yahoo!. For example, 
a Yahooligans! search for "George 
Washington" returned only 41 
matches, while a Yahoo! search for 
"our first president" yielded almost 
20,000,000 matches. 

Get the latest buzz. The Yahoo- 
ligans! Buzz Index is a great example 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 153 



Extras 



of positive peer pressure. The Buzz 
Index tracks and measures the most 
popular Yahooligans! search terms, 
which is similar to lists such as the 
Lycos 50 (www.lycos.com) or MSN's 
Top 5 Searches (www.msn.com). On 
the Yahooligans! main page, click 
Buzz Index to see a list of the 20 
most-searched subjects. 

Help on homework. Although 
Yahooligans! won't take your daugh- 
ter's test on fractions, it has a direc- 
tory of sites geared toward traditional 
school subjects, such as social stud- 
ies and math. Click the School Bell 
link that's located in the Yahoo- 
ligans! Directory. 

The School Bell section 
breaks down into the fol- 
lowing four primary cate- 
gories: Language Arts, Math, 
Science And Nature, and 
Social Studies. If you click 
one of these links, Yahoo- 
ligans! breaks that category 
down into subcategories. For 
instance, the Social Studies 
category contains subcate- 
gories such as Cultures, Geo- 
graphy, and History. 

You can continue sifting 
through subcategories to find 
information about a specific 
subject. For example, we clicked 
Social Studies, History, By Subject, 
and Cold War to find a site about 
Alger Hiss and another site where we 
could listen to Winston Churchill's 
Iron Curtain speech. 

Young academics who want to use 
information taken from Yahooligans! 
are free to do so, provided they prop- 
erly identify Yahooligans! as the 
source of the information. 

Ask Earl. You're probably familiar 
with Jeeves, Ask Jeeves' (www. ask 
.com) friendly butler who hunts for 
info on the Web in response to your 
queries. Earl is the Yahooligans! ficti- 
tious answer expert, but he deals with 
the questions you submit a little dif- 
ferently than Jeeves. Jeeves is essen- 
tially a search engine like Yahoo!; 
instead, Earl responds to a single 



question per day from his Yahoo- 
ligans! audience. Also, Earl answers 
every published question with in- 
formation gleaned from Yahooli- 
gans! Web sites; so, if Earl can find 
the answer via Yahooligans!, your kids 
can, too. 

To send your tricky questions or 
potential stumpers to Earl, click the 
Ask Earl link. On the next page, click 
Ask Earl!. Type a question in the Your 
Question box, provide your first 
name and age, and click the Send To 
Earl & Stray Kat! button. Yahoo- 
ligans! archives previous Earl answers 
and groups them into the following 



Ask Earl 




Categories: 

* Around the World 
. Aits and 

Enteitainment 
. Computers ami 
Internet 

* School Bell 

* Science and Nature 

* Spoils ami Re< 



Today's Question: 

* How old was Pocahontas when she died? 

Recent Questions: 

* What are the symptoms of meningitis? 

■ What we i e some ancient Mesopotamia!! names? 

* How does The mourn! 

* Is theie any way I can make a cut plant last I 

* What is the Mason-Dixon Line? 



Earl and his feline friend Stray Kat use Yahooligans! to answer 
perplexing questions from readers. 



categories: Around The World, Arts 
And Entertainment, Computers And 
Internet, School Bell, Science And 
Nature, and Sports And Recreation. 

Nose for news. To stay abreast of 
the latest news, click the News link 
on the Yahooligans! home page to 
view photo slideshows and find 
news sites geared toward younger 
audiences, such as Kidsnewsroom- 
.org and CBBC Newsround (news 
.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews) . 

Rely on those reference tools. 
Sometimes you can't beat a trus- 
ty encyclopedia, and Yahooligans! 
has several of those, as well as on- 
line dictionaries, thesauri, maps, 
and more. On the Yahooligans! 
home page, click Reference. Click 
a specific reference tool (such 
as Bartlett's Familiar Quotations 



or The Oxford Shakespeare) or se- 
lect one of the Yahooligans! refer- 
ence categories. 

Strictly science. Young Einsteins 
or developing Darwins will want 
to spend some time digging through 
the Yahooligans! science section. 
Yahooligans! Science has Web pages 
devoted to astronomy (click Visit 
Space Now!), dinosaurs and the 
era in which they lived (click See 
Dinosaurs Now!), and other animals 
(click Visit Yahooligans! Animals). 
You can also watch a number of 
BrainPOP (www.brainpop.com) vi- 
deos and quizzes about topics such 

as tsunamis, volcanoes, and 

the human heart. 

Avoid "All Work & No Play" 

Adults will probably appre- 
ciate that Yahooligans! uses 
Web sites deemed safe for 
young surfers, but kids will 
find that Yahooligans! gives 
them plenty of opportunities 
for a little online R 8c R when 
they close their textbooks for 
the night. 

Savor silver screen sneak 
peeks (and more). What bet- 
ter way to let your kids re- 
cuperate from a taxing week of 
school than taking them to a Sat- 
urday matinee? The Yahooligans! 
Movies page has trailers and sneak 
peeks of recently released and up- 
coming movies appearing in theaters 
and on DVD. (You'll need Win- 
dows Media Player or RealPlayer to 
watch video content from Yahoo- 
ligans! Movies.) 

On the Yahooligans! Movies page, 
click Coming Soon Theaters or 
Coming Soon DVD/Video for a list 
of soon-to-be-released, family- 
friendly movie titles. Click most of 
the titles for a brief synopsis, cast 
and crew information, and links to 
photos and trailers. 

Yahooligans! Movies also maintains 
a fairly impressive collection of older 
movies. You also can browse for 



154 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Extras 



movies alphabetically. Although you'll 
find PG-13-rated movies among 
Yahooligans! Movies' list, any trailers 
and photos should be safe for all- ages 
viewing, and many newer movies 
include information regarding their 
ratings. (For example, "Daredevil" re- 
ceived a PG-13 rating for "action/ 
violence and some sensuality.") 

At press time, Yahooligans! TV 
only featured shows from the Na- 
tional Geographic Channel. Although 
it has a narrow focus, Yahooligans! 
TV was brimming with programs 
about wildlife, nature, and culture. 
And its featurettes are all less than 10 
minutes in running length. 

Headphones not included. If your 
child invariably takes control of the 
radio in search of Top 40 pop hits 
during the morning drive to 
school, he or she will probably 
enjoy the selection of music 
videos that Yahooligans! Mu- 
sic offers. It's a blend of clas- 
sic musicians you're familiar 
with, such as Aerosmith, as 
well as groups you've probably 
only heard of if you tune into 
Radio Disney, such as The 
Cheetah Girls. 

In addition to music videos 
(some of which are Yahoo! ex- 
clusives), many of the artists 
listed on Yahooligans! Music 
have photos and song clips. 
Song clips are handy if you 
want to institute a "try before 
you buy" policy when your 
kids clamor for the latest chart- 
topping album. 

Click the Music link on the 
Yahooligans! home page. Next, click 
Browse All Artists or Browse All Vid- 
eos to view the master list of artists 
and music videos, respectively. 

Games galore. Whether they only 
have five minutes or a couple of 
hours, kids should find at least one 
or two games at Yahooligans! that 
can be both challenging and engag- 
ing. Click the Games link on the 
home page to browse through the 
site's games list. You can choose from 



classic games such as Backgammon 
and Chess, play a game related to a 
current Hollywood blockbuster such 
as "Chicken Little," or sharpen your 
knowledge with a game such as US 
State Detectives. 

You'll need a Java-enabled Web 
browser, such as Internet Explorer 
(version 4 or newer) or Mozilla 
Firefox, but Yahooligans! Games 
are otherwise compatible on older 
machines (Windows 3.1 and WebTV 
are exceptions). 

The Best Of The Rest 

Yahooligans! has other fun features 
for your kids to explore. For example, 
if you think Grandma would appre- 
ciate an ecard from her grandson, 



^xHooLfc?AN^ r8 Scfence Hf 



Yahooligans! Science 

Home > Science > Space 





The Solar System 

Nine planets, i ' i, travel around 

the Sun. Thesi ?ther with the 

Sun, form the solar system. 

Learn About the Solar System 



:: . V .■■■■■■■■ ' .■..■.■•■.■■■ 

w;j:'.-;s? V;r: tn;- :;.i;--:-;;,&^ry ft: a vs-ysny- of ««r-? 
terms, definitions, and people. 

See the Galactic Glossary 



Space Movies From BrainPOP 

• System . Intern atio 

• Mars 



• Moon 



The Space category of Yahooligans! Science is almost like 
having your own personal Galileo. 



have him send her one of the many 
free ecards on Yahooligans!. Click 
the Ecards link and click the link for 
the category of ecard you want to 
send (such as Birthday or Congratu- 
lations). When you find the right 
card, click its thumbnail (a tinier 
version of a graphic that occupies 
less space on-screen, letting you view 
more images simultaneously). 

After you choose the card, fill 
out the To, Email, and From fields 



accordingly and click the Choose A 
Message button at the bottom of the 
page. At the Choose A Message step, 
click the radio button next to the 
message you want and click Preview 
Card. Take another look at the card 
and click Send Card to send it on 
its way. 

There's also Yahooligans! Jokes, 
which features a new joke each day 
and groups existing jokes into sub- 
ject categories. Click Jokes and the 
link under Today's Joke to read the 
joke of the day. Click Next Joke to 
read another joke and Click Here For 
The Answer to read the punchline. 
To express your inner-comedian, 
click the Tell Us A Joke! link on the 
bottom of the Jokes page. Type your 
joke's question and answer in the ap- 
propriate fields, include your 
name, select your age from the 
drop-down menu, and click 
the Send Joke! button. 

To turn to the stars for 
weekly guidance, click Horo- 
scopes on the Yahooligans! 
home page. Read your weekly 
horoscope by clicking its re- 
spective link. In addition, the 
Yahooligans! Swami will an- 
swer your pressing questions 
(as long as the only possible 
answers are "yes" or "no"). 
Click Visit The Swami, type 
your question, and click the 
Tell Me! button. (We don't, 
however, recommend refinan- 
cing your home based on the 
Swami's answer.) 



A Site You Can Trust 

We frequently read news stories 
about the dangers the Internet can 
pose to children who aren't careful, 
but sites such as Yahooligans! serve as 
a beacon of safety for your family. It's 
a good blend of useful information 
and youthful entertainment that's 
attractive to kids. H 

BY VlNCE COGLEY 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 155 



Extras 



Lose 
Yourself Online 

25 Fun Things To Do On Yahoo! 



As one of the world's leading 
online portals, Yahoo! has 
considerable depth and 
breadth. While much of Yahool's 
content is practical in nature, the 
portal also has a lighter side, offering 
hundreds of fun things to do. 
Here, we'll detail 25 activities from 
Yahool's ever-expanding rainy-day 
fun pool. Many of these offerings 
originate from third-party compa- 
nies. Some are totally free; others are 
limited-time offers after which you 
must shell out some cash to con- 
tinue. You'll need to log in with 
a Yahoo! username to enjoy most 
of these. 



IPlay Solitaire 'Til Dawn 
(games.yahoo.com) 

As suggested in the old song, 
"Counting Flowers On The Wall," on 
Yahoo!, you can play Solitaire 'til 
dawn (or as long as you wish) free. 
On the main Yahoo! Games site, look 
under Card Games and click All 33 
Card Games. You can choose from an 
array of solitaire games both tradi- 
tional and innovative. One of our fa- 
vorites is Solitaire 13, where the goal 
is to find card pairs that equal 13. 
You can also download GameHouse 
Super Solitaire, a collection of 10 
solitaire games. 

2 Form A Special Interest Group 
(groups.yahoo.com/start) 

Long one of Yahool's more popular 
offerings, Yahoo! Groups is a collec- 
tion of online communities where 
people of like minds come together to 
discuss issues, share photos and news, 



and more. You can create your own 
private or public group, assigning it to 
one of an array of categories. If you'd 
rather check out an existing group 
first to see how the system works, visit 
groups.yahoo.com and search 
for a group that suits your taste. 

3 Make Free International 
Calls (messenger.yahoo 
.com) 

Using Yahoo! Messenger 
with Voice, Yahool's instant 
messaging utility, you can make 
free, PC-to-PC voice calls any- 
where in the world. You and the 
person you are calling must both 
have Messenger installed and have 
a headset or a microphone and 
speakers. Messenger is chock full of 
additional features, such as voice mail, 
integration with Yahoo! 360°, and the 
ability to share photos and other files. 
It's easy to set up, too. 



4 Play Games On Your Mobile 
Device (mobile.yahoo.com/wire 
less/downloads) 

Yahoo! features a wide array of 
options for information delivery to 
mobile devices at (check out mobile 
.yahoo.com). These include games 
you can install on your smartphone 
or PDA (personal digital assistant). 
Click the Mobile Games link to check 
out the assortment — most are less 
than $5. 



5 Listen To Comedy Shows (pod 
casts.yahoo.com) 

Ride the latest wave of tech- 
nology — podcasting — with Yahoo!. 



Podcasts are recorded audio 
shows (think radio shows) to which 
you can listen on your PC. With 
the Yahoo! Music Engine (a 
free download at music 
.yahoo.com/musicengine) , 
you can subscribe to an en- 
tire podcast series and 
listen to the individual episodes 
whenever you want. To find 
comedy shows on the Yahoo! 
podcast site, click Comedy 
under Main Categories or 
search by favorite names. 
Nearly all podcasts are free. 

6 Pick The Perfect 
Pet (pets.yahoo 
.com/pets/dogs 
/breed) 

Yahoo! has an 
informative and 
enjoyable pet site 
that you can add as 
a custom module 
(pets.yahoo.com 
/pets/myyahoo) to 
your Yahoo! home 
page. One of the 
module's offerings is 
a free Breed Recom- 
mender, where you an- 
swer a variety of questions 
to determine which breed is best 
for you. 



7 Care Enough To Send The Very 
Best (www.yahoo.americangreet 
ings.com) 

As a member of Yahoo! Greetings 
(free 30-day trial), you can select from 
among 8,000 ecard designs, adding a 
greeting of unlimited length and/or a 
photograph to personalize your efforts. 
The service, which also lets you save 
ecards to resend or reuse in the future, 
is $13.99 per year after the trial. 



8 



Tune In To Your Favorite Music 
(music.yahoo.com) 

With Yahoo! Music's LAUNCHcast 
service, you can create your own per- 
sonal radio station for free. Start by se- 
lecting favorite artists from a variety of 



156 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



Extras 



musical genres. Then, help LAUNCH- 
cast fine-tune your selections by rating 
various genres and artists (both likes 
and dislikes). LAUNCHcast learns 
from your ratings, playing both the 
artists you like and ones that it thinks 
you will enjoy based on your stated 
preferences. Ratings won't guarantee 
you'll always — or never — hear an 
artist, but they will help you hear 
favorite artists more frequently. To 
start rating genres and artists, go to 
music.yahoo.com/launch 
cast/genres.asp. 

9 Find That Special 
Someone (personals 
.yahoo.com/us) 

Yahoo!, like many online 
companies, has jumped on 
the personal ads band- 
wagon. Here, you can enter 
criteria for your ideal mate 
and then search for matches 
in your area. Optionally, 
you can create a profile, but 
this step is not required be- 
fore you perform searches. 
Before you get started, you 
will be asked to agree to a 
code of conduct, which in- 
cludes helping identify 
others who abuse the code. 



Yahoo! Movies (click the Trailers & 
Clips link). You can also find show- 
times and purchase tickets. 

1 ^ Build Your Dream Car 
I Zm (autos.yahoo.com/make) 

Yahoo! has partnered with leading 
automakers to let you custom tailor 
one of their cars online, adding and 
deleting options to see what it would 
cost for your dream machine. How- 
ever, the site does not interactively 




M Design Your Cartoon Self 
(avatars.yahoo.com) 

Our favorite Yahoo! fun features is 
its avatar-maker tool. Avatars are 
graphics you choose to represent 
yourself in chat rooms, while instant 
messaging, and in other online situa- 
tions. At Yahoo! Avatars, you can 
custom- design your avatar, changing 
your facial style, hair, eyes, clothes, 
and background. Play with your 
avatar's look until you find one that 
resembles you — or the 
person you always wanted 
to be. Yahoo !'s avatars are 
animated and can even 
show expressions. 



15 



Play nearly a dozen solitaire games at Yahoo! Games. 



1 r\ Explore Your Past Life 
I \J (astrology.yahoo.com) 

Whether you believe in past lives or 
just think it's fun to contemplate 
them theoretically, you can sneak a 
peek at your Past Life Reading. From 
the Yahoo! Astrology site, click the 
link Who Were You In A Past Life? 
under the Partner Offers area to re- 
quest your free sample reading. You'll 
only see a few paragraphs unless you 
pay for the full reading ($19.95), but 
it's fun to be told you were important 
in a previous existence, anyway. 



n 



Preview The Latest Movies 
(movies.yahoo.com) 



Not sure which movie you want to 
see? Check out the latest trailers and 
get the behind-the-scenes scoop at 



update the image of the car as you 
progress, but we're hopeful Yahoo! 
will add that capability later. 

* -j Expand Your Horizons 
I <D With Widgets (widgets 
.yahoo.com/gallery) 

The folks at Yahoo! developed an 
engine that can run little utilities 
called widgets. Widgets expand the 
functionality of your PC. A lot of 
them are productivity or performance 
enhancers, but there is an entire cate- 
gory of widgets that are purely 
fun, from a tool that does tarot read- 
ings to one that dispenses the dubious 
wisdom of Homer Simpson. Down- 
load the Yahoo! Widget Engine and a 
starter set of Widgets at widgets 
.yahoo.com and then head here and 
click Fun & Games to get started. 



Plan Your Dream 
Vacation 
(travel.yahoo.com) 

Yahoo's Trip Planner (in 
beta at press time) is an- 
other really nifty feature 
of the Yahoo! site. With it, 
you can plan a multicity 
trip, including sites you 
want to visit, restaurants 
where you want to eat, 
and hotels in which you 
would like to stay. You can 
schedule and map out the 
entire trip, as well, without 
making a single reservation. You can 
then save or print the trip or connect 
to one of Yahoo !'s travel partners to 
make reservations. 

* r* Get The Latest Buzz 
I D (buzz.yahoo.com). 

Yahoo! Buzz is a long-standing and 
popular feature of Yahoo!. The com- 
pany tracks the people and events 
(from Hillary Clinton to Lucky 
Charms) for which other people are 
searching and ranks them by their 
buzz factor (how often their names 
appear in keyword searches). People, 
events, or concepts that suddenly 
become wildly popular are buzz 
movers. Check out the buzz log for a 
daily overview, or find a topic that in- 
terests you and click it for a list of rel- 
evant links. 



Reference Series / All About Yahoo! 157 



Extras 



1 ^ Sneak A Peek & Cheat 
I / (videogames.yahoo.com/cheats? 
platform— 1) 

Are you endlessly frustrated by 
your inability to get beyond a certain 
level of your favorite video game? 
Yahoo! may be able to give you the 
pleasure of cheating by giving you the 
hint you need to move on. From 
Super Mario Strikers to The Chron- 
icles Of Narnia, Yahoo! 's video game 
cheat site has you covered. 

1 O Visit Betty's Beer Bar 
I O (games.yahoo.com) 

Betty's Beer Bar is another of the 
fun games available on 
Yahoo!. The goal of this game 
is for Betty (you) to earn 
enough money to buy an is- 
land in the Caribbean. Betty 
achieves this goal by serving 
drinks (mostly beer), col- 
lecting payments and tips, and 
keeping her customers happy. 
To locate Betty's Beer Bar, 
look under Arcade Games and 
click All 68 Arcade Games. 
Scroll down until you find the 
Betty's Beer Bar link. The free 
download gives you an hour 
of free play; the game is 
$19.99 if you keep it. 



and friends can also order prints (your 
first 10 4 x 6 prints are free). The site 
also offers basic editing capabilities 
(rotate, crop, flip, red-eye), plus a 
handful of special treatments (in- 
cluding warping) and borders. 



21 



Create A Photo Calendar 
(photos.yahoo.eom/ph//my_ 
photos) 

After you upload some favorite 
photos to Yahoo!, you can create a 
12 -page photo calendar or a calendar 
poster in a matter of minutes. You 
can also personalize the calendar with 
your choice of holidays, special dates, 




Yahool's fantasy sports site lets you create your own leagues 
teams and compete with other fantasy sports enthusiasts. 



^ Y Create A Personal Portal 
Z.D (360.yahoo.com) 

Yahoo! has always let you create a 
personalized Yahoo! page (My 
Yahoo!), but now you can create 
your own personal portal, as well. 
Head to Yahoo! 360° (in beta at press 
time) and you can set up a portal 
that others can access directly from 
the Internet. (The address will read 
360.yahoo.com/yournickname) . You 
can include your Yahoo! Groups on 
the page and link to your Yahoo! 
Photos albums, and you can also add 
newsfeeds, create lists of favorites to 
share, and more. (Make your per- 
sonal portal your own home 
page in Internet Explorer by 
selecting Internet Options 
from the Tools menu and 
changing the Address line 
under Home Page.) 



^ n Start Your Own Blog 
ZH" (360.yahoo.com) 

Once you create a personal 
portal, you can start a blog on 
it, as well. A blog, short for 
Web log, is an online journal. 
Yahoo! blogs include words, 
photos, or both, and Yahoo! 
will archive your blog postings 
for easy access over time. 



and 



19 



Find A Bargain (shop 
ping.yahoo.com) 



For committed bargain hunters, few 
things are more fun than searching for 
deals. Yahoo! 's shopping site offers a 
Bargains & Sales tab that links to bar- 
gains at a variety of online merchants. 
Depending on the time of year, the 
bargains can be pretty amazing: How 
about a $1,600 Henckels Professional 
Series knife set for $1,000? 

^ ^\ Create An Online Album 
Z\j (photos.yahoo.com) 

Yahoo! gives its users a generous 
photo-management feature, letting 
them store unlimited digital images on 
its servers for free and then share their 
scrapbooks with others. Yahoo! part- 
ners with Target, so you or your family 



and photo captions. A 12-month cal- 
endar is $18.99; a poster calendar is 
$2.99 to $7.99, depending on the size. 
To get started, look for the Months 
And Months Of Memories link on 
your my Photos page. 

*\ *\ Make Your Own 
ZmZm Postage Stamps (photos 
.yahoo.eom/ph//my_photos) 

Yahoo! Photos also links your 
photo collection to Zazzle, one of 
the USPS's custom stamp partners, 
where you can make stamps with the 
image of your choice. A sheet of 20 
ZassleStamps is just $16.99 — more 
than twice what you'll pay for stan- 
dard postage, but imagine what your 
family and friends will say. 



25 



Indulge In Fantasy 
(Sports) (fantasy 
sports.yahoo.com) 

Fantasy sports, where players get 
to create and track their own perfect 
fantasy team from the existing pool 
of real-world players in the sport, is 
one of the country's hottest tickets. 
Yahoo! has a great fantasy sports site 
where you can play fantasy sports 
ranging from baseball to NASCAR 
or horse racing. (Some are free; 
others require a small fee for full 
access.) Yahoo! or the company ad- 
ministering the game keeps track of 
real-world performance and stand- 
ings of players on your team so you 
don't have to. __ 

by Jennifer Farwell 



158 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 





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Extras 



YahOO! By The Numbers 



Compiled by Tracy Baker 



Company History 

Yahoo! was created in January 1994, was incorporated by March 1995, 
and went public in April 1996. (Source: Yahoo!) 

Top Searches In 2005 

In 2005, a year that brought the world news about horrifying disasters such as 
the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, what do you think was the No. 1 
overall search queried at Yahoo!? Britney Spears. Actually, if you just look at 
the news-related searches, "tsunami" was No. 1, but Hurricane Katrina 
was still beat out by Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie, Natalee Hollo way, Iraq, 
Afghanistan, and the Michael Jackson trial. (Source: Yahoo!) 

Breaking Down Language Barriers 

Yahoo! is currently available in more than 13 languages. 
(Source: Yahoo!) 

Pages Served Per Day 

On average, Yahoo! serves 2.4 billion pages per day to its visitors— 

that's about 876 billion pages per year, which is equivalent to 135 

pages per year for every person on earth (or nearly 2,940 pages per year for every 

person in the United States). (Sources: Yahoo! and U.S. Census Bureau) 

Value Of Initial Stock Share Today 

Relative to today's dollars, after adjusting for all the stock splits and dividends 
since Yahoo! stock went public, Yahoo! stock closed at $1.38 per share at the end 
of the first day of trading in April 1996. That same share today (at the time of 
this writing) is worth around $35; but at the stock's all-time peak closing price, 
that initial $1.38 share was worth about $118.75. (Source: Yahoo!) 

Highest Stock Share Price 

The highest price a share of Yahoo! stock has ever traded for is $500.13 on 
Jan. 4, 2000. The highest price the stock has ever closed at is $475 per share 
that same day. (Source: Yahoo!) 

2005 Net Income 

Yahoo! generates $5.2 billion per year in revenue, of which $1.9 billion is net 
income. That net income is on par with Google's figures, although it's nothing 
compared to the world-record $36.1 billion in net income that Exxon Mobil 
reported in 2005. (Sources: Yahoo! and Exxon Mobil) 

Company Growth 

Yahoo! had 49 employees when it went public in 1996. The company now employs 
5,444 people in the United States and 3,382 people throughout the rest of the world 
(at the time of this writing). (Source: Fortune) 

Services Offered 

Yahoo! offers 119 services, ranging from Yahoo! Maps to the latest 
Yahoo! 360° Beta service. There are 17 new services currently 
under development, including Yahoo! FareChase for finding travel 
bargains and Yahoo! Answers for users to ask and answer all types 
of questions. (Source: Yahoo!) 



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160 www.smartcomputing.com / All About Yahoo! 



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